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Journal Article

Citation

Chu CM, Ogloff JRP. Psychiatry Psychol. Law. 2012; 19(4): 464-481.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2012, Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law, Publisher Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)

DOI

10.1080/13218719.2011.599109

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

Assessing child sexual abuse allegations is a challenging task for any child protection or mental health professional given that the secretive nature of sexual abuse is often associated with limited medical evidence and a lack of independent corroborative information. In addition to the scant evidence available to help decide the case, there are controversies surrounding the legal standard of proof and immense pressure to act quickly to ensure the safety of the children who are allegedly abused. Unfortunately, there is currently a lack of literature pertaining to the assessment of alleged child sexual abusers. This article examines the standard of proof and legal conundrum pertaining to alleged child sexual abuse cases. More importantly, it proposes guidelines for mental health professionals conducting an assessment of such persons. Assessments, if conducted effectively, can assist the court and child protection services in managing the risk of future inappropriate sexual behaviors.

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