Disclosing the abuse: The effect of ethnoreligious identity on CSA disclosure in forensic interviews

Hanin Mordi, Carmit Katz, Dafna Tener, Rivka Savaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Multiple studies have examined sexually abused children and their interactions with the legal system, as manifested in children's disclosures of sexual abuse during forensic interviews. Nevertheless, few have done so while referencing contextual variables, such as ethnoreligious identity. The current study was designed to examine how ethnoreligious identity affects children's disclosure in forensic interviews beyond the contribution of child characteristics and abuse characteristics. In addition, the moderating role of pre-interview disclosure was examined. An analysis of 1054 forensic interviews conducted in Israel indicated a relationship between a child's age, gender, and abuse characteristics (i.e., perpetrator identity and type of abuse) with the likelihood of disclosure during the forensic interview. The results indicated a relationship between ethnoreligious identity and forensic disclosure. Unexpectedly, Muslim Arab children were more likely to disclose than Jewish children. Predictably, pre-interview disclosure moderated the relationship between abuse characteristics and ethnoreligious identity (among Jews) and forensic disclosure. Conversely, it did not moderate the relationship between child characteristics and disclosure during the forensic interview. The findings demonstrate the importance of a context-informed examination of child abuse disclosure and its potential to advance the development of services adapted to children from diverse communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105441
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume124
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • Ethnoreligious identity
  • Forensic disclosure
  • Forensic interviews
  • Jewish children
  • Muslim Arab children

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