Child Advocacy Center intervention with sibling sexual abuse cases: Cross-cultural comparison of professionals’ perspectives and experiences

Dafna Tener, Abbie Newman, Peter Yates, Noam Tarshish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Despite being a complex phenomenon with potentially significant short- and long-term consequences for all involved including siblings, parents and the family as a whole, sibling sexual abuse (SSA) has not received sufficient empirical and clinical attention. Practitioners are often left to cope without appropriate guidance. Objective: This study aimed to compare staff perspectives and experiences of working with sibling sexual abuse cases across two Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) within different countries and different cultural and legal contexts. Participants and setting: Participants were staff members from two Child Advocacy Centers: one in Jerusalem, Israel, and the other in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Methods: This qualitative cross-cultural comparative study analyzes staff experiences of sibling sexual abuse cases based upon 14 focus groups, in Jerusalem (N = 7) and Montgomery County (N = 7). Results: Findings reveal that both CACs focused on parents, the parents’ negative emotional responses to SSA, and the impossible nature of their predicament. The Montgomery County CAC tended to emphasize the needs of the victim while being attuned to the legal proceedings, whereas the Jerusalem CAC emphasized supportive therapeutic responses for the whole family. Conclusions: The differences across the two Child Advocacy Centers are related to the different legal and cultural contexts of the two CACs and underscore the need to review what may be the most appropriate policy and practice response to SSA that does not itself cause further harm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104259
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume105
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • CAC intervention
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Child sexual abuse interventions
  • Child/youth with problematic sexual behaviors (PSB)
  • Cross cultural comparison
  • Sibling sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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