Child Witness Project (1995)
This study examined over 500 cases of child sexual abuse to investigate the process of how the abuse was discovered by adults and reported to police. The report includes a literature review and a qualitative analysis of interviews with 135 children and teenagers: who told right away and why, who delayed telling, what happened to them, why didn't they tell, and how was the abuse finally discovered? We also asked the children about the role of school programs in their decisions to disclose or not disclose. A statistical model was developed to discriminate immediate disclosers from delayed disclosers. For example, children at risk for on-going abuse included those who experienced pre-abuse grooming, had been young at the time of first sexual contact and who were abused in their homes by someone they lived with and to whom they were emotionally close. The children offered nine recommendations to schools to improve their sexual abuse prevention programs. On the basis of study findings, the research team offered eight observations about the weaknesss of programs and recommend modifications to increase their effectiveness at encouraging disclosures from children.