https://www.facebook.com/events/375696759467203/ Cheever House - Wellesley College
828 Washington Street
Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481
Lectures & Conferences, Social Good, University
Title: Research Collaboration on the Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse: Challenges and Outcomes
Presenter: Stephanie Block, Ph.D.; Linda M. Williams, Ph.D.
Location: Cheever House, Wellesley College - 828 Washington St, Wellesley
There is a growing body of research examining the criminal prosecution of child sexual abuse (CSA). However, there are significant methodological and ethical challenges in the conduct of this research. One key component of success is assuring that the efforts involve close research-practitioner collaboration. This is critical to frame research questions, acquire access to confidential case records and trial evidence, understand the prosecutorial decision making and outcomes, and reliably code, analyze, and interpret the data so it is useful to the field. This session will address how we approached such obstacles and will discuss the findings of this collaborative research.
This research, funded by the National Institute of Justice, takes a child development and justice system approach to understand prosecution and the obstacles leading to high attrition rates in 500 CSA cases from four counties in one state. This case study design captures multiple models of prosecutorial response to CSA in real-world context, and we identify concerns with victim competency, credibility, cooperation, and evidentiary issues. We discuss the methodological and ethical challenges of this type of research. Findings suggest many barriers to prosecution and we review the current collaborative approach to making recommendations designed to change outcomes for children.
Stephanie Block, Ph.D. is assistant professor at UMass Lowell in the psychology department and a collaborator with the Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research (JGBVR) Initiative at the Wellesley Centers for Women.
Linda M. Williams, Ph.D. is a senior research scientist and co-director of the Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative at the Wellesley Centers for Women.
This program is part of the Lunchtime Seminar Series hosted by the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) at Wellesley College. Lunchtime Seminars are free and open to the public. Most programs are held Thursdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Centers’ Cheever House location (828 Washington St, Wellesley), and parking is available in the on-site parking lot. Bring your lunch; WCW will provide tea and coffee. For accessibility questions, contact Disability Services at Wellesley College ([email protected] or call 781.283.2434).
To check the Lunchtime Seminar Series schedule, visit wcwonline.org/calendar or call 781.283.2500. For those who are unable to attend, many programs are recorded and the audio is posted online at wcwonline.org/audio.