Legal societal system intervention trauma to child sexual abuse victims following disclosure in Lusaka Urban District, Zambia

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Mbuzi, Anselimo Boniface
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Although some experts have indicated system interventions as psychologically harmful, very few researchers have attempted to explore the impact of legal societal system interventions (Ryan, Perry, 1987). With the advent of increased cases of child sexual abuse in Zambia in which many perpetrators have been acquitted because of insufficient evidence given by the child, it is imperative to assess if the investigatory processes (court proceedings or legal service) interventions by the societal mandated authorities in intrafamilial child sexual abuse cases increase the level of trauma experienced in child victims following disclosure.An in-depth study approach which followed a descriptive research design was used. This involved the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods.The present study indicates that certain types of legal societal system interventions such as subjecting a sexually abused child witness to multiple questioning, many interviews, regular courts used by adults, separating a child from her mother/caregiver, inadequate trust during the investigation further traumatized sexually abused children. Based on these of policies and procedures designed to reduce stress and to enhance improvement in children‟s ability to give their best evidence, results it is recommended that a link be strengthened between implementation
Sex Crimes , Sexual Abuse Crimes , Child Sexual Abuse