Recantations and Retractions in Child Sexual Abuse

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An allegation of child sexual abuse can be made by virtually anyone for varied and complex reasons and include cases of actual abuse and cases, where no actual abuse has occurred. Similarly, recantations or retractions of that allegation can be made by anyone including the person who made the allegation or by someone else on their behalf, with or without their knowledge. Like allegations, recantations occur for varied and complex reasons and do not always signal a false report as may be believed. This chapter examines recantations and retractions and provides a distillation of the literature regarding the motivations for withdrawing an allegation after an initial complaint is made. This will include false reporting but also includes mistaken belief, the solicitations of others, and fear of reprisals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChild Sexual Abuse
Subtitle of host publicationForensic Issues in Evidence, Impact, and Management
EditorsIndia Bryce, Wayne Petherick
Place of PublicationSan Diego, CA
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-12-819434-8
ISBN (Print)9780128194355
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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