Child Sexual Abuse Disclosure and Evidence in Australia | Free Essay Example

Child Sexual Abuse Disclosure and Evidence in Australia

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Topic: Law
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Introduction

The problem of child sexual abuse has been a major problem in Australia for several years. According to Frost, Daniels, and Hudson, laws have been enacted to ensure that the offenders are subjected to appropriate punishment as a way of deterring the behavior within the community.1 However, reports indicate that most of the cases of child sexual abuse do not get disclosed.2 Various factors contribute to the high number of cases that go unreported.

The majority of child sexual abuse is committed by close family members such as uncles, fathers, brothers, and family friends. The fear of the pain that may be caused when such a family member is sent to prison for such a crime forces family members to opt not to report such abuses. There is also the shame that a family has to undergo when it is revealed that one of their own was responsible for the rape.

Some parents believe that reporting a rape case committed against their child may expose them to a lifetime of victimization. The society may not be welcoming to a person believed to be a victim of rape. The fear of difficulties which such a child may face, especially when they are ready to settle down in marriage in their adulthood makes many parents avoid exposing the abuse. Another problem is the ability to convince the authorities about a child’s sexual abuse. Sometimes the authorities may not believe a story about sexual abuse, making the process of reporting the case even more painful. In this paper, the focus is to discuss factors that may impact on whether or not a disclosure of child sexual abuse is believed.

Factors That Impact on Whether a Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse is Believed

It takes a lot of courage and will power for a parent to come out and seek justice when a child is sexually abused. According to a report by Easton, about 75% of cases of child sexual abuse go unreported because of the fear of the repercussions.3 The ordeal that the child goes through during the abuse and the physical and emotional trauma that they have to deal with after can be devastating depending on their age and the perpetrator. The emotional trauma may be worsened when their case is not believed by the relevant authorities expected to take the appropriate action against the perpetrator.

The victims and their family members would feel helpless when the law fails to protect them. In such cases, the power of the perpetrator is emphasized and the victim is left to lead a life of constant fear. On the other hand, the offenders feel that they cannot be punished when they sexually molest children within the country. As Easton observes, the best way of fighting child sexual abuse is to ensure that those responsible are sent to jail.4 In so doing, many victims suffering in silence will be convinced to speak out to ensure that the society realizes that everyone will be held responsible for their actions. The authorities need to be convinced of the case presented before the court.

Pearce, Hynes, and Bovarnick warn that it is common to find cases where people come up with fake stories of sexual abuse because of ulterior plans against family members.5 Cases, where a child is couched to tell an untrue story of how they were molested, have been common. Such actions also hinder the fight against child sexual molestation. Accusing an innocent person of sexual misconduct and doing everything possible to ensure that they go to jail for a crime they did not commit is not only unfair but also immoral.

It is the responsibility of the judge to ensure that every rape case against a child presented in court is convincing before the accused can be sentenced to serve a jail term. It means that when the case presented has inconsistencies or signs of deceit are detected, the appropriate action would be to dismiss the case. Since it is painful to deny a rape victim the justice he or she deserves by failing to punish the offender, it is also equally unfair to send an innocent person to jail just to pass a message to the society that the vice cannot be tolerated.6 Rape cases must be convincing, supported by evidence, and objective. The following are the fundamental factors that determine whether a disclosure of child sexual abuse is believed.

Time and Timing of the Disclosure

Time and the timing of the disclosure is one of the most important factors that determine whether or not a disclosure of child sexual abuse is believed. According to Dolan, some of the molestation cases take a lot of time before they are reported.7 Different factors may define why it takes long before a child or the loved ones come out to report a rape case. It may be because of a serious threat that the perpetrator issues to the victim, making him or her afraid of sharing with others about the ordeal.

In other cases, the victim may avoid talking to others about the incidence of fear of further victimization. Irrespective of the reason why such an incidence fails to be reported in time, Hayes believes that the delay in the disclosure may affect the ability to convince the relevant authorities.8 When a child is sexually molested, they have a better capacity to explain themselves in more convincing ways about the incidence. They are always shaken and in most cases, their trust in the aggressor will be lost even if it is a close family member.

A victim’s state of mind and body language soon after the trauma help invalidating their claim. However, that is not always the case when the incidence is reported several months or even years after the incidence. Some people wait till adulthood to expose the sexual exploitation they were subjected to as children. At that time, the authorities may only rely on their words and sometimes witnesses to be convinced about the accusation.

The fact that it took too long to report the case may also be a factor that discredits the case. In some instances, the perpetrators may be deceased, which means that they cannot be punished for their crimes. Such belated reports about sexual molestations only make things worse in the fight against child sexual abuse. It reaffirms the wrong belief that rapists can easily get away with their crimes. Human rights activists have always encouraged victims to make timely reports as a way of genuinely fighting the vice in society.

The timing of the report is another issue that may credit or discredit a report about child molestation. As Owton notes, when a victim of sexual abuse or a loved one comes out to report to the authorities, it is believed that the main driving force is the desire to have justice.9 As such, it would be expected that the report would be made within a reasonable time to ensure that justice is served. However, Taspell and Wife observe that the timing of some of the claims may make the authorities and the society suspicious and unconvinced about the abuse.10 For instance, a report may be made against a person seeking a political office or senior government appointment.11

What many people would question is why it had to take that long and wait for such a time to make the report. Many may take it as a political witch-hunt and a deliberate attempt to deny the person the office. Such incidences have been witnessed in the past where people were paid to make false claims about candidates poised to win top political offices or government jobs. It may take a lot of convincing for the jury to believe that such reports are made to help the victim get the justice deserved.

Members of the public may also be quick to dismiss such cases because of the belief that they are driven by malice. As such, it is advisable to report rape cases as soon as they occur to convince authorities about their occurrence. It is equally important to avoid wrong timing when reporting a rape case. Waiting for too long until the moment when the report may be viewed as seeking person gains is not advisable.

Manner of the Disclosure, Recantations, and Inconsistencies Detected

The manner of disclosure is an important factor that defines whether a child sexual abuse report is believed by authorities. As Finley explains, the authorities are expected to treat every case presented to them with the seriousness it deserves.12 It means that when a child or its loved ones report to the police or other relevant authorities about sexual abuse, an investigation must be launched immediately.

The mental status of a child who has been through sexual trauma can easily be detected, especially when a picture of the perpetrator is shown to them. There is always the anger, fear, and distrust all coming out through the body language and facial expression.13 An investigator can easily tell that the image shown to the child evokes unpleasant memories that create some form of discomfort. However, when the story is made up, the child will remain calm when such an image is presented to them. In many cases, such reactions may help the jury and the judge to be convinced about the case.

Whenever a child reports about a rape case, one of the first steps that the officers are expected is to take statements from the victims and their loved ones who have helped them report the case. When there is a doubt, the officer may have the child in a separate room to make the statement while the loved one does the same in a different room. After some time, maybe hours or days after taking the first statements, the victim may be requested to re-state what happened. As Loetz observes, it is normal for one to fail to use the specific words used in the previous statement, but the story should remain the same.14

The time when it happened, the setting, people who were around, the manner of the attack, injuries sustained, and the events soon after the incident should remain clear in the mind of the victim. If it is observed fundamental issues such as time, setting, and the manner of attack keeps changing, then it may be a strong indication that the story is made up.

The jury and the judge may be convinced that the story is made up and that the goal is not to get justice but to defeat it by fixing an innocent person. It is not easy for a child who can talk fluently to forget about how it was attacked, the place of the attack, and events that followed soon after. These are some of the fundamental factors that would help in convincing the court that the incidence took place.

Recantation is another major problem when trying to convince the court that a child was subjected to sexual molestation. It is expected that the victim and people who come to support their claims as witnesses are truthful and committed to finding justice.15 When making reports to police officers, these people should stand by their statements because they are only expected to narrate what they know. When a person can tell a lie to police officers, chances are high that they can easily lie under oath when in the courtroom. When a person starts recanting statements previously issued, it becomes difficult to believe him or her. It is worse if the person recanting previously recorded statements is the victim.

When the victim recants a statement recorded under oath, the new statement may not be trusted unless there is a proper justification as to why they are recanting such statements. Toledo and Seymour note that changing statements and recanting previous reports are some of the main reasons why many cases are dismissed.16 The victims and their witnesses are expected to be precise and consistent in their report. They should stand by their statements if they are telling the truth. Remaining firm and straightforward will help in convincing the court and it will give the defense team little to hang on when discrediting the statement.

Age of the Victim

The age of the victim may also be a major factor that determines whether or not a disclosure of a child sexual abuse is believed. Adolescents are known to be rebellious towards authorities. Some teenagers are known to make outrageous claims against authorities to have their way.17 A teenage girl may falsely claim that she has been sexually molested by a parent or a guardian just to get freedom from their custody. As such, sometimes it may not be easy to believe their story, especially when there are inconsistencies. One can easily be convinced that the child is getting back at the parent for one reason or the other and the best way of doing so is to claim that they have been sexually molested.

The same cannot be said of a little child of fewer than nine years. These young children tend to be very trusting. Even in cases where they are under the care of an abusive and constantly absent parent, they can rarely come up with a serious allegation such as the claim that they have been abused sexually. Whitaker explains that some of the claims of sexual abuse are made to get financial benefits.18

It may be a plan to extort money from the accused, especially if it is known that they have the financial muscle to pay. An adolescent can play along with such evil plans. They can even develop the plan without the support of adult family members. On the other hand, a young child cannot come up with such an evil plan. In case they are coerced by their parents or guardians to make such outrageous claims, it is always easy to detect the lie in them.

One can easily tell they are lying from their body language, facial expression, and inconsistencies in the statements they provide. Adolescents can memorize fake events through practice to ensure that they tell the same story every time they are asked to do so by the police or in court. It means that a little child tends to be more convincing because they tell what they saw in the simplest way possible. In case they stick to their story and are consistent when asked the same question from a different perspective, the court will more likely believe a little child that an adolescent.

It does not mean older children will not convince the court hence atrocities committed against them should not be reported. Any form of sexual abuse should be reported so that appropriate action can be taken against the victim to discourage the vice in society. Teenagers should not remain silent when sexually abused simply because their statements may not be believed. Instead, they should report such cases immediately and remain truthful throughout the case.

Type of the Abuse

Child sexual abuse may take a different form. According to Cromer and Freyd, the offense may range from using wrong words to underage children or subjecting them to adult films to being physical.19 The nature of the abuse may define the ease with which the court may be convinced about the abuse. A child who has been exposed to indecent materials meant for adult consumption may find it difficult to convince the judge about the abuse.

It may be necessary to present the evidence that proves the claim, something that may not be easy to do because the offender can easily destroy the materials when it comes to his knowledge that he is under investigation. It is also easy for the offender to claim that that child accessed the material without his or her permission and that it was not meant for them. The use of sexualized language may also be difficult to prove in a court of law unless there is a witness that can corroborate the story told by the child. If the voice is recorded, it may also be possible to prove the case.

Physical sexual abuse can be proven in court depending on its nature. Some social misfits have come up with ways of defeating justice when sexually abusing minors. They opt for oral sex that may not be easy to prove in court. They force the minors to perform oral sexual acts on them and then forcing them to take birth just to ensure that the forensic evidence is eliminated. Unless such an individual is caught in the act, it may be challenging to prove their case.

The prosecution would need a form of evidence or witness statements to support the claims, without which the case can easily be dismissed for lack of evidence. As Grigorenko explains, rape cases often attract severe punishment in the country, and as such, there is always the need to be sure that the victim indeed committed the crime before being sentenced.20

When there is reasonable doubt about the case, it can easily be dismissed. Severe rape cases where there is forensic evidence and in some cases proof can be easily proven in court. As discussed in the section below, when the abuse is severe, it is possible to have medical reports that can help support the claim. The psychological impact that such abuses often have on the jury and the sympathy towards the victim also makes it easy to convince the court.

Hayes notes that some of the rape cases are often so severe that the child, depending on its age, may find it difficult to walk, sit, or even control long and short calls of nature.21 Such cases often attract severe punishment and not unless the victim can have a strong argument about a person who could have committed the crime, they often end up in jail.

Medical Reports and Other Supportive Evidence

The availability of medical reports and supportive evidence may help in making a disclosure of child sexual abuse believable. According to Fontes and Plummer, most of the sexual offenders often put a spirited fight whenever they are accused of molesting a child.22 It is the responsibility of the prosecution team to convince the court that the accused is guilty of the said crime. In many instances, the best way of proving a rape case is to have forensic evidence to prove the claim. The use of DNA has become a critical way of proving sexual abuse cases. The statement of the victim can easily be corroborated with the evidence presented in the court.

Owton argues that even in cases where there is no witness to such sexual abuse; the presence of forensic evidence always strengthens the case.23 It explains why the victims are always advised not to take a bath after sexual abuse because doing so eliminates the important evidence needed in court. Seminal fluids are critical evidence that proves beyond any reasonable doubt that a victim was sexually assaulted. The DNA found in the semen can then be used to precisely identify the person responsible for the crime.

The use of other materials such as torn clothes can help in proving a case of sexual assault. According to McElvaney, Greene, and Hogan, sometimes sexual abuse involve the use of physical force, especially if the victim is resisting.24

In the process, the aggressor may forcefully remove the victim’s dress with the evil plan of raping her. Such dresses may help in strengthening the case. Such clothes should not be washed to ensure that the DNA of the aggressor is not eliminated. It may be a perfect opportunity to prove that the said crime was indeed committed by the accused. The presence of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras may also be very useful in making such a case convincing to the judge and jury. Even if the camera does not capture the actual act, just monitoring the events just before and soon after the incident may be enough proof that the person committed the crime.

Presence of Witnesses

The presence of witnesses and their willingness to testify in court often help to strengthen a rape case. In a report by Sylaska and Edwards, the majority of rape cases are committed by close and trusted family members and friends.25 In some cases, these incidences are witnessed by close family members. In other cases, the first respondent to a child’s distress call is the family member. There should be a willingness on the side of the witness to corroborate the story told by the child.

The court will be interested to listen to what the witness saw and the actions taken soon after the discovery. The statement given by the witness is expected to support the claims made by the victim. In case physical evidence is presented in court such as medical reports, the judge will have to examine the materials and determine if they support the story told by the victim and the witness. One of the reasons why many of the witness statements are discredited in court is lack of consistency.

Alegria, Collin-Vézina, and Lateef argue that it is not easy to remain consistent when one is lying.26 When it is established that the witness changes the story every time he or she tells it, it may work against the case. It may be an indication that the prosecution team lacks a strong case and is keen on recruiting individuals who know nothing about the abuse to act as witnesses. The truth is that some people are even paid to give false evidence for various reasons.

Proper scrutiny is always given to statements of the witnesses. As such, the prosecution should be careful before presenting a witness in court. The most important thing is that such witnesses must have seen something before, during, and after the incident that may support the prosecution’s case. They should also be in a position to explain what they saw without feeling intimidated or unnecessarily confused by the questions that may be posed by the defense team.

Race of the Victim

Australia is one of the most diversified nations in the world because of increased immigration. The indigenous groups such as the Torres Strait Islanders and the Tasmanian Aboriginals from the minority groups in the country. The indigenous people and other minority groups were often treated as second class citizens in the country during the period of colonization. González-López reports that the practice has changed as the country tries to have a unified society where everyone is treated with dignity.27 In Australia, here are strict laws that prohibit racism and acts of discrimination. However, the legal systems and structures are still more favorable to the White majority than it is to the minority groups.

When a rape case is presented in the court, the race is often a factor that plays a role in determining whether or not the judge and the jury will be convinced. Toledo explains that Aboriginals often face some form of discrimination in the country, although the society tends to deny the existence of the vice.28 An aboriginal child will need to present a convincing case supported by evidence to convince the court that they have been sexually molested. On the other hand, the legal system tends to be more sympathetic towards whites than the minority groups. Their cases tend to be more convincing than that of the aboriginals because of what society has come to embrace.

Socioeconomic Status of the Victim

Australia, just like many other developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, is still affected by the problem of socioeconomic inequality. Getting justice is an expensive undertaking because one will be forced to hire a top lawyer to present the case in a court of law. As Margolin observes, a rape case is expected to be prosecuted by the government officials.29

However, the level of commitment that these officers put in the case depends on one’s status in society. The poor are always afraid, ashamed, and alone when they become victims of rape because the legal system in the country does not work in their favor. According to Page and Morrison, they cannot easily convince the court that they were subjected to sexual abuse if proper evidence is not made available in the court.30 The frustration that is often accompanied by the investigations makes many of them avoid disclosing the fact that they have been victims of rape. They often rely on the government officers to present their case and help them get the justice they need.

The problem of the poor is compounded by the kind of neighborhood in which they live. According to a report by Townsend, about 2 million Australians live in derelict properties that are close to being slums.31 In these neighborhoods, security is poor and little girls are in constant threat of being attacked by sex predators. The problem is that sometimes identifying these criminals is not easy. When disclosure of child abuse is made, one of the fundamental goals is always to trace and positively identify the criminal so that they can be brought to justice. When the identification becomes a problem, then it is not possible to offer the victims the kind of justice they deserve.

On the other hand, the rich can easily hire detectives that can investigate the case and provide the forensic evidence needed to convince the judge and the jury about the molestation. Children of the rich rarely suffer from the problem of sexual molestation because of the safety of the neighborhood they live in and the protection they get. In an unlikely event that such children are subjected to any kind of sexual abuse, either at school or at home, their parents would do everything to ensure that they get the justice they need.

The society is also biased in favor of the rich. It is easy to believe a disclosure made by such powerful families because of the influence they have in society. The kind of influence that the rich and powerful members of society have makes it easy for them to convince authorities when they are faced with such a problem.

Conclusion

Sexual molestation that targets children is a serious problem that needs to be effectively tackled in society. Children and their family members are encouraged to disclose such abuses so that corrective measures can be taken. One of the main challenges that many victims face is the difficulty in convincing authorities that they were subjected to such ordeals. Numerous factors determine whether or not a disclosure of a child sexual abuse is believed.

The timing of the disclosure is one of the most defining factors. A rape case that is reported as soon as it happens is easier to believe than one that is reported several years after. When the sexual abuse case is presented against a person vying for a political office or senior government position, many may not believe it because of the fear that it may be a smear campaign strategy of the opponent. How the disclosure is made is another important factor that defines whether or not such a story will be believed.

When a victim or witnesses are inconsistent when narrating the events that occurred, it may not be easy to believe them. It is expected that the victim should have a clear memory of the events that occurred and be willing to tell the exact story whenever he or she is requested to do so without serious inconsistencies. When witnesses recant their statements, doubt may be created in the mind of the judge. The presence of forensic evidence may help in proving a sexual abuse case. The DNA may help in confirming if the crime was indeed committed by the accused. The study shows that the availability of witnesses willing to testify is also important. In a society where social status matters, the race of the victim and the financial background also matters when it comes to proving such a court case.

Bibliography

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Ammon, Norman, Samuel Mason, and Martin Corkery, ‘Factors Impacting Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence Among Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Positive Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review’ (2018) 157 Public Health 20.

Collin-Vézina, Delphine, Mireille Sablonnière-Griffin, Andrea Palmer, Lise Milne, ‘A Preliminary Mapping of Individual, Relational, and Social Factors That Impede Disclosure of Childhood Sexual Abuse’ (2015) 43 Child Abuse & Neglect 123.

Cromer, Lisa, and Jennifer Freyd, ‘What Influences Believing Child Sexual Abuse Disclosures? The Roles of Depicted Memory Persistence, Participant Gender, Trauma History, and Sexism’ (2007) 31 Psychology of Women Quarterly 13.

Deblinger, Esther, Anthony Mannarino, Judith Cohen, Melissa Runyon, and Anne Heflin, Child Sexual Abuse: A Primer for Treating Children, Adolescents, and Their Non-Offending Parents (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed, 2015).

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Fontes, Lisa, and Carol Plummer, ‘Cultural Issues in Disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse’ (2010) 19(5) Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 491.

Frost, Andrew, Ken Daniels, and Stephen Hudson, ‘Disclosure Strategies among Sex Offenders: A Model for Understanding the Engagement Process in Group Work’ (2006) 12(3) Journal of Sexual Aggression 227.

González-López, Gloria, Family Secrets: Stories of Incest and Sexual Violence in Mexico (New York University Press, 2015).

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Hayes, Sharon, Sex, Love, and Abuse: Discourses Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Loetz, Francisca, A New Approach to the History of Violence: Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse in Europe 1500-1850 (Brill, 2015).

Margolin, Judith, Breaking the Silence: Group Therapy for Childhood Sexual Abuse, A Practitioner’s Manual (Routledge, 2nd ed, 2016).

McElvaney, Rosaleen, Sheila Greene, and Diane Hogan, ‘To Tell or Not to Tell? Factors Influencing Young People’s Informal Disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse’ (2013) 20(10) Journal of Interpersonal Violence 3.

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Pagea, Alexandra, and Natalie Morrison, ‘The Effects of Gender, Personal Trauma History and Memory Continuity on the Believability of Child Sexual Abuse Disclosure among Psychologists’ (2018) 80 Child Abuse & Neglect 1.

Pearce, Jenny, Patricia Hynes, and Silvie Bovarnick, Trafficked Young People: Breaking the Wall of Silence (Routledge, 2013).

Skaine, Rosemarie, Sexual Assault in the U.S. Military: The Battle Within America’s Armed Forces (Praeger, 2016).

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Footnotes

  1. Andrew Frost, Ken Daniels, and Stephen Hudson, ‘Disclosure Strategies among Sex Offenders: A Model for Understanding the Engagement Process in Group Work’ (2006) 12(3) Journal of Sexual Aggression 227, 229.
  2. Annik Toledo, and Fred Seymour, ‘Interventions for Caregivers of Children Who Disclose Sexual Abuse: A Review’ (2013) 33 Clinical Psychology Review 772, 775.
  3. Scott Easton, ‘Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse among Adult Male Survivors’ (2013) 41 Clinical Social Work Journal 344, 348.
  4. Ibid 350.
  5. Jenny Pearce, Patricia Hynes, and Silvie Bovarnick Trafficked Young People: Breaking the Wall of Silence (Routledge, 2013) 65.
  6. Esther Deblinger, Anthony Mannarino, Judith Cohen, Melissa Runyon, and Anne Heflin, Child Sexual Abuse: A Primer for Treating Children, Adolescents, and Their Non-Offending Parents (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed, 2015) 76.
  7. Roberta Dolan, Say It Out Loud: Revealing and Healing the Scars of Sexual Abuse (She Writes Press, 2014) 43.
  8. Sharon Hayes, Sex, Love, and Abuse: Discourses Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) 78.
  9. Helen Owton, Sexual Abuse in Sport: A Qualitative Case Study (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) 64.
  10. Kieran Taspell, and Potiphar’s Wife, The Vatican’s Secret and Child Sexual Abuse (Atf Press, 2014) 82.
  11. Ibid 85.
  12. Laura Finley L, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault in Popular Culture (Praeger, 2016) 45.
  13. Rosemarie Skaine, Sexual Assault in the U.S. Military: The Battle Within America’s Armed Forces (Praeger, 2016) 67.
  14. Francisca Loetz, A New Approach to the History of Violence: Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse in Europe 1500-1850 (Brill, 2015) 112.
  15. Norman Ammon, Samuel Mason, and Martin Corkery, ‘Factors Impacting Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence Among Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Positive Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review’ (2018) 157 Public Health 20, 22.
  16. Toledo and Seymour, above n 776.
  17. Delphine Collin-Vézina, Mireille Sablonnière-Griffin, Andrea Palmer, Lise Milne, ‘A Preliminary Mapping of Individual, Relational, and Social Factors That Impede Disclosure of Childhood Sexual Abuse’ (2015) 43 Child Abuse & Neglect 123, 124.
  18. Mark Whitaker, Cosby: His Life and Times (Simon & Schuster, 2014) 43.
  19. Lisa Cromer, and Jennifer Freyd, ‘What Influences Believing Child Sexual Abuse Disclosures? The Roles of Depicted Memory Persistence, Participant Gender, Trauma History, and Sexism’ (2007) 31 Psychology of Women Quarterly 13, 16.
  20. Elena Grigorenko, The Global Context for New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development (Jossey-Bass, 2015) 33.
  21. Hayes, above n 98
  22. Lisa Fontes, and Carol Plummer, ‘Cultural Issues in Disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse’ (2010) 19(5) Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 491, 494.
  23. Owton, above n 45.
  24. Rosaleen McElvaney, Sheila Greene, and Diane Hogan, ‘To Tell or Not to Tell? Factors Influencing Young People’s Informal Disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse’ (2013) 20(10) Journal of Interpersonal Violence 3, 5.
  25. Kateryna Sylaska, and Katie Edwards, ‘Disclosure of Intimate Partner Violence to Informal Social Support Network Members: A Review of the Literature’ (2014) 15(1) Trauma Violence Abuse 3, 7.
  26. Ramona Alaggia, Delphine Collin-Vézina, and Russian Lateef, ‘Facilitators and Barriers to Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Disclosures: A Research Update 2000–2016’ (2017) 4 Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 1, 3.
  27. Gloria González-López, Family Secrets: Stories of Incest and Sexual Violence in Mexico (New York University Press, 2015) 65.
  28. Toledo, above n 772.
  29. Judith Margolin, Breaking the Silence: Group Therapy for Childhood Sexual Abuse, A Practitioner’s Manual (Routledge, 2nd ed, 2016) 38.
  30. Alexandra Page, and Natalie Morrison, ‘The Effects of Gender, Personal Trauma History and Memory Continuity on the Believability of Child Sexual Abuse Disclosure among Psychologists’ (2018) 80 Child Abuse & Neglect 1.
  31. Christopher Townsend, Child Sexual Abuse Disclosure: What Practitioners Need To Know (2016) Charleston, S.C., Darkness to Light.