Characteristics of Child Sexual Abuse in the United States Air Force.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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An exploratory study to determine how child sexual abuse was defined at installation Air Force Family Advocacy Programs, characteristics of reported child sexual abuse cases, and differences in cases labeled suspected and established. All 121 Air Force Family Advocacy Officers were mailed questionnaires which addressed the bases definitions of child sexual abuse and characteristics of cases reported in 1985. Data were collected from 58 bases on 376 cases. Findings indicated that the Family Advocacy Programs lacked a uniform definition of child sexual abuse. Contrary to Air Force regulation, 37 of the programs did not limit services to cases involving abuse by perpetrators who were in caretaker relationships with their victims. Variations in characteristics of cases from those previously reported included younger ages of victims M8.56, a higher percentage of male victims 22, and a high rate of cases initially reported by victims and non-offending parents 66. At least 25 of isolated incidents of abuse perpetrated by perpetrators known to victims involved analgenital penetration, suggesting a progression of sexually abusive behaviors may not be an essential aspect of case validation. Recommendations for revision of Family Advocacy Program regulations, enhancement of program services, and areas for future research were identified.
- Sociology and Law