Added: August 5, 2017 – Last updated: August 5, 2017


Authors: Deborah A. Connolly, Patricia I. Coburn, and Kristin Chong

Title: Twenty-Six Years Prosecuting Historic Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Subtitle: Has Anything Changed?

Journal: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

Volume: 23

Issue: 2

Year: May 2017

Pages: 166-177

ISSN: 1076-8971 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1939-1528 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century, 21st Century | American History: Canadian History | Types: Child Sexual Abuse


Link: APA PsycNET (Restricted Access)



Deborah Connolly, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University

Abstract: »In many common-law jurisdictions around the world, criminal courts are facing or will soon face the unmitigated challenge of prosecuting cases of child sexual abuse that are reported to have happened in the past, often decades earlier. In Canada, criminal prosecutions of historic child sexual abuse (HCSA) have been common for a long time, providing an opportunity to study changes over time in such prosecutions. In the current research, we coded 3,035 HCSA complaints on 12 variables and looked at changes in those variables between 1986 and 2012. Across court dates, the average age of the complainant when the alleged offense began increased, duration decreased, frequency decreased, intrusiveness decreased, and length of delay to criminal court decreased from the late 1990s. Although guilty pleas, convictions, and guilty verdicts decreased through the 1990s, there was an increase in all 3 beginning in the early 2000s. Length of incarceration increased for those convicted. These data are discussed in the context of education, legal change, and social attitudes toward delayed reporting of child sexual abuse. Policy implications are discussed.« (Source: PsycINFO Database)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of Canada / History of Canada (1982–92), History of Canada (1992–present) | Sex and the law: Child Sexual Abuse