Added: April 4, 2015 – Last updated: April 4, 2015


Authors: Judy Cashmore and Rita Shackel

Title: Introduction

Subtitle: Responding to Historical Child Sexual Abuse and the Needs of Survivors

Journal: Current Issues in Criminal Justice

Volume: 26

Issue: 1

Year: July 2014

Pages: 1-4

ISSN: 1034-5329 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | Types: Child Sexual Abuse


Link: Australasian Legal Information Institute (Free Access)

Link: informit (Restricted Access)

Link: Social Science Research Network (Free Access)



Judy Cashmore, Law School, University of Sydney

Rita Shackel, Law School, University of Sydney

Abstract: »Child sexual abuse typically involves a breach of trust by the very persons or institutions that children should be able to rely on for their care and protection (Richards 2011). The exploitation of that trust and position and the grooming process allow abusers the opportunity to have unsupervised access to children, to engage with them, and to keep them compliant. Many children do not tell anyone about the abuse at the time, during their childhood or adolescence, or until many years later in adulthood. Some, an unknown number and the 'dark figure' of child sexual abuse, never tell anyone. While most children are sexually abused by someone known and trusted within their family or by those close to their family, strong evidence has emerged over the last few decades implicating an array of institutions such as churches and residential care facilities as well as sporting and recreational bodies, both in 'harbouring' abusers and in failing to respond appropriately to allegations of abuse. Their failed response often denied, minimised, and deflected such allegations and, in many cases, allowed abusers the opportunity to abuse more children. Such responses have involved a lack of sensitivity and respect for the needs and rights of complainants and an absence of appropriate avenues for victims to obtain redress in ways that recognise the trauma they have experienced. Where allegations have been investigated, that process and the criminal justice system has also been exposed as failing to treat victims and survivors with dignity and in ways that enable their accounts of abuse to be told in safe and supportive spaces that ultimately deliver the justice sought and deserved by victims.« (Source: informit)

Wikipedia: Child sexual abuse