"Child Eyewitness Testimony in Sexual Abuse Investigations" presents a cross-section of relevant research and practical suggestions to guide the forensic investigation. The first part of the book provides an overview of the forensic process and relevant rules of evidence. Individual and developmental differences in memory are summarized, and the impact of environmental factors and the forensic process is discussed within the context of true, false, and implanted memories. Research and thinking on such topics as symptomatology, psychotherapy, repressed memories, Dissociative Identity Disorders, hypnosis, cults, the Parent Alienation Syndrome, and the nonleading-leading continuum of investigative techniques is presented. The second part defines basic competencies and support systems that the forensic investigator should have.
Subsequently, the reader is introduced to the ecological sexual abuse investigative process and discussions of practical issues, such as: the use of anatomically detailed dolls; where interviews should be conducted; who should be interviewed; relating to the resistant child; the use of medical evaluations and psychological testing; and techniques for properly recording interviews. A step-by-step process for assessing credibility and validity is explained, followed by a four-step decision-making process. The final chapter identifies research needed to improve our understanding of sexual abuse, to improve the assessment process, and to facilitate more efficacious treatment strategies.
Table of Contents
The Forensic Assessment. The Nature of Memory. The Effects of the Forensic Process Upon Memory. Special Issues in Sexual Abuse Investigations. The Nonleading-Leading Continuum. Basic Competencies and Support Systems. Background Information--Defining the Context. Common Issues in Sexual Abuse Investigations. Assessing Credibility and Validity. Four Steps to the Final Decision. Concluding Remarks. References. Indexes.