The aim of this study is to examine the changes in psychic condition of children and adolescents (under 18 years of age) in cases of sexual abuse, abusive behaviour and sexual violence with a particular focus on changes in their comprehension and assessment of reality. The study focuses on changes in psychic condition and disorders typical for children who became victims.Analysis is implemented comparing changes in the psychic condition of children and adolescents who were subject to outpatient forensic psychiatric-psychological expertise at the Child and Adolescent Department of State Forensic Psychiatry Service in 2010 and 2012. The study compares expertise results and conclusions from 2010 to the results and conclusions from 2012. In 2010 there was a peak of criminal proceedings due to increased number of cases of sexual crimes against children and adolescents in Lithuania. It may be assumed that in those years so called “Kaunas pedophile case” caused particular sensitivity considering this type of criminal investigations as no other significant events that might have conditioned increase of this kind of proceedings were observed.In this study some other factors that influence changes in the psychic condition and reality comprehension of children and teenagers who suffered sexual violence are also analyzed. It concerns not only the particular violence itself but also the fact that children are involved in criminal proceedings, and their testimony becomes a basic source of information about their experience; and children are not protection against secondary victimization in the criminal proceedings as they often have to attend court hearings, repeated interrogations and surveys, and even encounter the suspect. All this causes the secondary (repeated) psychic trauma or retraumatisation.In the study, it is analyzed how all that negative experience change emotions, feelings, behaviour, thinking, comprehension, perception and understanding of reality. There appear difficulties in court hearings where these children have to describe the event, and the child does it specifically because of mental immaturity, specific developmental and emotional needs.In addition this study focuses on the results of analyses conducted comparing occurrence of psychic disorders in children and adolescents who suffered sexual abuse and abusive behaviour in 2010 and 2012 respectively (these are the cases where outpatient complex forensic psychiatric-psychological expertises were carried out). On the basis of outpatient forensic psychiatric-psychological expertises in 2010 and 2012, the study focuses on age breakdown, and distribution of boys and girls who suffered sexual abuse. Comparison includes subjects of child sexual abuse, i. e. who sexually abused children and adolescents, and if there were changes in subjects in 2010 and 2012 respectively.The study analyses why in the cases where investigation in such criminal proceedings were carried out improperly and children or and adolescents did not receive adequate and timely support the negative and serious consequences persist for a long time, and even when they become adults.
Keyword(s): children and adolescents who suffered sexual abuse, secondary (repeated) psychic trauma or retraumatisation, reality comprehension disorder.
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