The prevalence, nature, and impact of intrafamilial child sexual abuse: findings from a rapid evidence assessment

Gekoski, Anna, Davidson, Julia and Horvath, Miranda A. H. ORCID logoORCID: (2016) The prevalence, nature, and impact of intrafamilial child sexual abuse: findings from a rapid evidence assessment. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, 2 (4) . pp. 231-243. ISSN 2056-3841 [Article] (doi:10.1108/JCRPP-05-2016-0008)

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report on the findings from a study commissioned by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) in England, concerning intrafamilial child sexual abuse (IFCSA)/incest. Specifically, it aims to explore what is known about the prevalence, nature, and impact of IFCSA and where the gaps in knowledge lie.

Design/methodology/approach: A Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) was used, the function of which is to: search the literature as comprehensively as possible within given time constraints; collate descriptive outlines of the available evidence on a topic and critically appraise it; sift out studies of poor quality; and provide an overview of the evidence. Over 57,000 documents were scanned, and 296 ultimately systematically analysed.

Findings: It was found that: there is wide variation in prevalence rates between studies; girls are more likely to be victims than boys; the onset of abuse is typically school age; abuse in minority groups is under-reported; sibling abuse may be more common than that by fathers; female perpetrated abuse may be under-reported; families where abuse occurs are often dysfunctional; and IFCSA has significant adverse effects on victims.

Research limitations/implications: A REA is not a full systematic review, differing in the scope and depth of the searches and depending almost exclusively on electronic databases, not accompanied by searching journals by hand.

Originality/value: The findings of this research provide the evidence-base for a new two-year inquiry into the subject of IFCSA by the OCC.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS)
Item ID: 20198
Notes on copyright: This is an author accepted manuscript version of an article made available in this repository in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The final version is published by Emerald in in the Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice and is available at:
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Depositing User: Natasa Blagojevic-Stokic
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2016 09:45
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 21:24

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