Seminar on Child Sexual Abuse

Ralph C. Underwager
Hollida Wakefield

October, 1996


As Western civilization has developed from the beginnings in Athens over 2500 years ago, there has been a movement toward greater freedom and individual responsibility. Part of that movement is to seek to reduce the violence done and to build a peaceful world. In pursuit of that goal, decreasing the frequency of the abuse of children has moved to a central focus in many places. There are many, many decisions made by the institutions charged with carrying out the policies which are intended to protect children from harm by adults. The accuracy of those decisions is of greatest importance. No one can dispute that everyone, child, parents, families, and the society, all benefit from making the most accurate decisions possible. This is what we hope to foster in these workshops. Sharing the experience of the United States can contribute meaningfully to those who wish to make the best decisions possible at any stage or any level of the process. We also hope for learning from others willing to share their wisdom and knowledge with us so that we can also progress toward more accuracy in decision making.

I. History and Scope of the Problem

II. False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse

III. Investigating Child Sexual Abuse Allegations

IV. Interviewing children who are suspected of being sexually abused

V. Criteria for judging an allegation

VI. Effects and Treatment of Victims

VII. Treatment for Perpetrators


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