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Interviewing Children about Sexual AbuseControversies and Best Practice$
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Kathleen Coulborn Faller

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311778

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311778.001.0001

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False Allegations of Sexual Abuse

False Allegations of Sexual Abuse

(p.191) FOURTEEN False Allegations of Sexual Abuse
Interviewing Children about Sexual Abuse

Kathleen Coulborn Faller

Oxford University Press

Both professionals and the public are attentive to and, in some instances, preoccupied with the possibility that sexual abuse allegation might be false. This chapter first differentiates between a false and an unsubstantiated report. It addresses the obstacle of knowing with certainty that an allegation of sexual abuse is false, pointing out that the criterion employed in most research is the opinion of the researcher, or a group of researchers. The chapter then focuses on evidence — what is known from research about the extent and source of false reports of sexual abuse. The research suggests that consciously made false reports occur infrequently, and they are more likely to be made by adults than by children.

Keywords:   false allegations, false positives, lying, unsubstantiated sexual abuse, false reports

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