SEXUAL CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY ON THE OPINION OF AUTHORITIES ABOUT EVIDENCE
Angelita Maria Ferreira Machado Rios (1)
Lilian Milnitsky Stein (1)
The evaluation of sexual offenses against children and adolescents is complex due to the limitation of evidence (no witnesses and few physical traces), and in many cases, the word of the victim is the only piece of evidence available. Given this situation, information regarding the criteria for the evaluation of evidences of these specific crimes was gathered. Interviews were conducted with 18 participants, nine of them from the investigative stage (Police Officers) and nine from the procedural stage (five Prosecutors and four Judges of Law acting on the area of Children and Youth). The authorities expressed their views on the analysis of the following evidence: the word of the victim, physical traces, other evidences (witnesses, school reports, reports from health and psychosocial professionals) and the confession of the suspect. Difficulties in the evaluation of sexual crimes involving juveniles, the progress or advances already made in the analysis of these cases, as well as suggestions made to contribute to the protection of these victims were indicated.
Keywords: Sexual abuse, children abuse, children, adolescents, legal-medical evaluation, forensic evidence.
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