ERIC Number: EJ943217
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Recognizing the Threat Posed by an Incestuous Parent to the Victim's Siblings. Part II: Improving Legal Responses
Wilson, Robin F.
Journal of Child and Family Studies, v13 n3 p263-276 Sep 2004
Many courts refuse to protect the siblings of an incest victim even when faced with unmistakable evidence that they are at risk, arguing that no one can predict what will happen. For instance, some courts believe that a parent who molests his stepchild is unlikely to victimize biological offspring, while others believe that a father who violates a daughter will not also victimize sons. Although judges have relied principally on intuition, a substantial body of empirical studies can help them to better assess a sibling's risk. In Part I, I argued that once a parent establishes the first sexual relationship, other children in the family should be considered at risk. Nonetheless, not all children in the household face identical risks of molestation. In this paper, I continue this theme and argue that a legal presumption should arise that other children are endangered. Further, I maintain that offenders should have an opportunity to rebut this presumption. Without this opportunity, a child who never faced a significant risk of abuse may be removed from his home or unnecessarily lose his ties to a parent. In order to better protect children, I outline how legal decisions can better reflect what is known about child victimization.
Descriptors: Parent Child Relationship, Judges, Siblings, Child Abuse, Courts, Parents, Victims of Crime, Evidence, At Risk Persons, Prediction, Intuition, Decision Making, Criminals, Court Litigation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A