Justice system and secondary victimization of children and or adolescents victims of sexual violence in the family

  • Eliana Mendes de Souza Teixeira Roque Universidade de Ribeirão Preto
  • Maria das Graças Carvalho Ferriani Universidade de São Paulo; Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto; Departamento de Enfermagem Materno-Infantil e Saúde Pública
  • Romeu Gomes Fundação Osvaldo Cruz
  • Lygia Maria Pereira da Silva Universidade de Pernambuco
  • Diene Monique Carlos Universidade de São Paulo; Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto

Abstract

The present paper addresses the results of research conducted in collaboration with judges into the interrogation of child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse. The theoretical framework used was based on the Ecological Systems Theory. Qualitative research methods were used, with a semi- structured survey and free observation in different jurisdictions. The data was examined using thematic content analysis, through which two categories stand out: “lack of training and limitations” and “secondary abuse”. In the former, an unprepared judge will, when interrogating, resort to a technique based on practice, life experience and instincts, without following the necessary structural procedures. The rationale used is based on common sense. “Secondary abuse” clearly shows that local judicial intervention methods can be seen to re-victimize children and adolescents, since they only hear the victim’s testimony, on successive occasions, in order to obtain evidence to incriminate the aggressor. Acting in this way may generate discord between the immediate priority and the absolute priority guaranteed by the Brazilian Constitution. The judicial system does not show itself to be organized towards prioritizing issues involving children and adolescents, whether in terms of handling the possible implications of a hearing or discussing new approaches to preventing secondary abuse towards victims of sexual abuse. The field of health can support the justice system on this issue. To do this the problem must be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective, although the justice system is ultimately responsible for the solution.

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Published
2014-09-01
How to Cite
Roque, E., Ferriani, M., Gomes, R., Silva, L., & Carlos, D. (2014). Justice system and secondary victimization of children and or adolescents victims of sexual violence in the family . Saúde E Sociedade, 23(3), 801-813. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902014000300006
Section
Violence: an issue at the interface between health and society