Characteristics of suspected victims of child sexual abuse: A secondary data analysis of The Children's Assessment Center's data

Elizabeth Leass, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Child abuse is a widespread public health problem. In Harris County, Texas, many cases of child sexual abuse are referred to The Children’s Assessment Center (The CAC), which is part of the 900+ national network of Children’s Advocacy Centers. From January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2015, The CAC provided services to 13,826 young people (ages between 0 and 18) who presented for the first time as suspected victims of sexual abuse. The purpose of this research is to describe the characteristics of youth at their first forensic interviews who were referred to The CAC during this time period. Characteristics under study include age, gender, race/ethnicity, disability status (mental and physical disability), relationship between suspected victim and alleged perpetrator, and geographic region. We also examined how these characteristics differ by relationship between suspected victim and alleged perpetrator and by Harris County, Texas, geographic region.^ This study provides evidence that most of the suspected child sexual abuse victims who present to The Children’s Assessment Center in Harris County are pre-teens (24.9%) or teenagers under 18 years old (47.4%), females (77.2%), minorities (73% non-White), not recorded to have mental (97.4%) or physical disorders (99.5%), and are almost equally distributed across Harris County. These suspected child sexual abuse victims are most likely abused by people they know (non-stranger 96.8%) and by people that are likely related to them (67.3%).^

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Leass, Elizabeth, "Characteristics of suspected victims of child sexual abuse: A secondary data analysis of The Children's Assessment Center's data" (2016). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10183287.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI10183287

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