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ERIC Number: EJ905581
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Is Child Sexual Abuse Declining in Canada? An Analysis of Child Welfare Data
Collin-Vezina, Delphine; Helie, Sonia; Trocme, Nico
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v34 n11 p807-812 Nov 2010
Objective: Canadian victimization surveys and police databases suggest that, overall, no decline in sexual crimes in Canada had occurred lately. We aimed at reviewing the existing data from Canadian child protection services to further explore whether a decline in the number of substantiated child sexual abuse (CSA) cases has occurred during the past years. Method: Nation-wide and provincial data from two provinces, Ontario and Quebec, were analyzed, including the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect; the Ontario Incidence Studies of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect; the Quebec Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse, Neglect, Abandonment and Serious Behaviour Problems; the annual reports of Quebec child protection agencies; and the annual province-wide statistics produced by the Quebec Social Health Ministry. Results: Based on Canadian-wide and Ontario data, substantiated CSA cases have decreased. However, all other forms of child maltreatment have increased during that same timeframe, an overall picture that does not parallel United States child maltreatment trends. In contrast, sources of data from the province of Quebec point to a recent increase in the number of CSA cases that are reported to and substantiated by the authorities. Potential explanations for the rise in CSA cases in Quebec include a recent increase in the victims' willingness to bring their accounts to the authorities, and new ways cases are counted by child welfare services. Conclusions: Considering the inconsistent results from Canadian child protection services, and the fact that victimization surveys and police databases do not corroborate a decline in sexual crimes, it seems precipitous to conclude that CSA has been declining in Canada. More Canadian studies on CSA are greatly needed to further test how different factors impact the numbers of CSA cases known to the authorities. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada