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Sexual abuse of children and adolescents: understanding the reality enables protective action

Viviane Amaral dos Santos Liana Fortunato Costa About the authors

This text presents the results of research carried out in the Infancy and Youth Courts in Brasília, Brazil. The aim of the research was to evaluate the enforcement of the protective measures applied by the Judge to child and adolescent victims. The method included documentary analysis; telephone contact with the institutions responsible for carrying out the protective measures judicially applied; telephone contact with 25 police departments in Brasília. The results showed that sexual abuse occurs in the home and is perpetrated by close relatives. The main victims are girls between the ages of three and eight. It also showed that there is a disconnect in the actions taken by the agencies of the legal and protective system. The results showed that the effectiveness of the protective action depends on the establishment of a network that promotes connectedness and partnership between the legal and care organizations. It also represents a significant contribution to the construction of public policies focusing on prevention and intervention with regard to sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse; Human rights; Justice; Social justice

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicologia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas Núcleo de Editoração SBI - Campus II, Av. John Boyd Dunlop, s/n. Prédio de Odontologia, 13060-900 Campinas - São Paulo Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 19 3343-7223 - Campinas - SP - Brazil