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ERIC Number: EJ835724
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1360-2322
Sexual Offences in Police Reports and Court Dossiers: A Case-File Study
van den Bergh, Peter M.; Hoekman, Joop
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, v19 n4 p374-382 Dec 2006
Background: In many cases, sexual abuse involving a person with an intellectual disability (ID; as a victim and/or as a perpetrator) is not reported to the police. There are very few studies addressing police procedures in these cases, and even fewer addressing procedures at the Public Prosecutor level. The present study had two goals: (i) to describe relevant characteristics of cases of sexual abuse, involving people with ID (as a victim or perpetrator), that were either reported to the police or sent to the Public Prosecutor; (ii) to describe the dynamics of the process from making the report to passing the sentence. Method: In this case-file research, 75 police reports and dossiers at the Public Prosecutor, regarding sexual abuse were followed from the initial report to the police, up to the conviction. Results: Even if a case was reported to the police, it did not always go forward to the Public Prosecutor and when a person with ID was involved as the perpetrator, few were actually convicted. Conclusions: Whether the perpetrator had an ID did not appear to be a decisive factor in furnishing proof or in the conviction. There seemed to be no evidence for any specific disability-related influence on the judicial process in cases against perpetrators of sexual abuse. Differentiating police data from court data, however, revealed an important finding. Relatives appeared in court dossiers far more than in police files (34% versus 14%), while on the contrary staff made up 24% in police files and only 13% in court dossiers. This suggested that different sensitivities, protecting staff compared with relatives, may be present in the judicial process, rather than in services.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A