Friday, October 7, 2011

Tests Show That We Don't Believe Victims

We just don't believe they are innocent...

"Teenage girls are particularly vulnerable to negative judgments regarding their credibility. In simulated sexual abuse trials where only the age of the victim was manipulated, researchers found that jurors tended to find girls over twelve years of age to be significantly less credible than adolescent girls under the age of twelve. As researchers polled their jurors, they found that as victims entered adolescence, jurors perceived them as partly responsible for the abuse they were subjected to, and that belief correlated with a decrease in their perceived credibility... In this respect, the skepticism people demonstrate toward teenage sexual abuse victims is similar to the skepticism that greets adult victims of acquaintance rape. However, even if adult women face serious obstacles in pressing claims of rape, teenage incest victims face even more" (The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology in an article written by Leslie Feiner, as cited in The Encyclopedia of Child Abuse 2nd edition).

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