Prevalence and processing of child sexual abuse: A multi-data-set analysis of urban and rural counties

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22 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated how contextual factors affect the processing of child sexual abuse cases, from reporting to sentencing. We analyzed three types of data: (a) data compiled by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape from monthly reports by all rape crisis centers in the state; (b) data from the Pennsylvania Office of Children, Youth, and Families; and (c) sentencing data from the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing. Results indicated that aggregate rates of reporting, substantiation, and sentencing were affected by county levels of expenditure. In addition, reporting and substantiation were affected by county-level factors, such that rural counties, counties with a higher percentage of individuals living below the poverty level, counties with higher expenditures, and counties with a higher percentage of stranger assaults had higher rates of child sexual abuse reporting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-402
Number of pages18
JournalLaw and human behavior
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

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