The ability of suspected victims of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) to give evidence. Findings from the Children's House in Iceland

Gisli Gudjonsson, Thorbjorg Sveinsdottir, Jon Fridrik Sigurdsson, Johanna Jonsdottir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The main objective of the study was to further the understanding of age-related differences in children's ability to give an account of suspected sexual abuse during questioning. Video recordings of 285 Investigative Interviews referred by police and judges to the Children's House in Reykjavik over a five-year period were analysed. The great majority of the youngest children (31/2-5 years), and almost all of the older children, had the basic abilities to give testimony, although there were major age-related differences in their understanding of why they were being interviewed, their ability to answer open-ended questions about the suspected abuse, describe the immediate antecedents, conversation with the perpetrator, events immediately after the abuse, and ability to sustain concentration during the interview. The findings show that the interview technique used in the Children's House, which is based on Child Advocacy Model principles and protocol, is being used effectively in Iceland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-586
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010

Other keywords

  • child sexual abuse
  • investigative interviews
  • competence
  • Child Advocacy Centre
  • the Children's House
  • Child Abuse, Sexual

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