Negative reactions to the sexually abused victims, withdrawing the complaint and outcomes of the litigation: the first data from Turkey

KOCTURK N., Bilginer C.

JOURNAL OF FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY & PSYCHOLOGY, vol.30, no.1, pp.152-166, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier


In order to provide psychosocial services to children with sexual abuse (SA) histories, their needs and problems should be initially identified. In this study, it is intended to determine the psychosocial problems of victims. Participants were 73 victims between aged between 16 and 21. A telephone interview form was used to collect the study data. It is found that there were several problems noted by victims, including underage marriage (15.1%), teenage pregnancy (6.9%), revictimization (13.7%), need for psychiatric support (21.9%) as well as negative social reaction (84.4%) and not being supported by family (41.1%). One-third of the victims (30.1%) had withdrawn the complaint for reasons such as SA being heard among social circle, the negative effect of court process on psychological well-being, make a new beginning and reasons related to the suspects. Finally, it was found out that 21.9% of the parents did not know the outcome of the litigation, 34.2% of them were satisfied with the case result, 43.8% of them were not satisfied with the penalty, 43.8% of the litigation process was ended in favor of the suspect and 43.9% of the suspects were punished. This study shows the need for prevention and intervention studies to solve the problems of SA victims, and it is essential to make the justice system child-friendly.