“I was scared, like never in my life”: Children's perspectives of nonfamilial sexual abuse within the Jewish ultraorthodox community in Israel.

Dafna Tener*, Carmit Katz, Amitai Marmor, Efrat Lusky-Weisrose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Child sexual abuse (CSA) has been receiving growing research attention, contributing significantly to the understanding of its prevalence, dynamics, and consequences. Less attention has been devoted, however, to CSA among distinctive cultural and religious groups. The current study was designed to explore CSA as arising from the experiences and perceptions of children in the ultraorthodox Jewish community in Israel, conveyed during forensic interviews. Method: Thematic analysis was conducted on 32 interviews with children aged 5 to 14 years, referred following suspected CSA by a perpetrator who was not a family member. Results: The results suggested three main themes: the context of the abuse, the dynamics with the perpetrator, and the disclosure experiences. The context revealed the unique risk that children in the ultraorthodox group might experience. The dynamics with the perpetrator echoed the existing literature on CSA. Conclusions: The current findings stress the importance of considering the context of CSA, as it plays a central role in any attempt to understand this phenomenon. One of the study's main conclusions addresses the need to adjust prevention and intervention efforts to the unique characteristics of this group. Relatedly, theoretical knowledge as well as practical tools must be provided to community leaders and families to ensure better justice and care for ultraorthodox child victims, given the unique contextual characteristics of CSA within this society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Violence
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • children's narratives
  • cultural perspective
  • forensic interviews
  • ultraorthodox community

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