Is Child Sexual Abuse Declining in Canada? An Analysis of Child Welfare Data

Is Child Sexual Abuse Declining in Canada? An Analysis of Child Welfare Data

Is Child Sexual Abuse Declining in Canada? An Analysis of Child Welfare Data

Is Child Sexual Abuse Declining in Canada? An Analysis of Child Welfare Datas

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Référence bibliographique [10076]

Collin-Vézina, Delphine, Hélie, Sonia et Trocmé, Nico. 2010. «Is Child Sexual Abuse Declining in Canada? An Analysis of Child Welfare Data ». Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 34, no 11, p. 807-812.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«To get a better understanding of CSA [child sexual abuse] trends in Canada, the present paper reviews existing statistics gathered from child protection services. Nation-wide and provincial data from two provinces, Ontario and Quebec, will be analyzed. A focus will be given to contrast fluctuations of CSA incidence rates to those of other forms of maltreatment, namely physical abuse and neglect.» (p. 808)

Questions/Hypothèses :
«We hypothesized that changes in Canadian child welfare practices could be observed through fewer decisions to substantiate cases deemed questionable, such as those arising in the context of divorce and child custody, those involving young children whose testimony is perceived as less reliable, and those involving less intrusive sexual contact.» (p. 809)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
Les auteurs ont utilisé les trois études suivantes: the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS), The Ontario Incidence Studies of Reported Child Abuse and the Neglect and the Quebec Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse, Neglect, Abandonment and Serious Behaviour Problems.

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


According to the authors, «[b]ased on the CIS (1998 and 2003) and the Ontario Incidence Studies of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (1993, 1998, and 2003), substantiated CSA cases have decreased, similar to the decreasing trend of substantiated CSA cases in the United States. However, all other forms of child maltreatment have increased during that same timeframe, an overall picture that does not parallel United States child maltreatment trends. Analyses conducted using the 1998 and 2003 CIS databases do not clearly support the hypothesis that the changes in the standards applied by child protection workers to determine whether a CSA case is substantiated could account for the specific decline of CSA. In sharp contrast, recent sources of data from the province of Quebec [...] point to a recent increase in the number of CSA cases that are reported to and substantiated by the authorities. Therefore, in Canada, the question concerning the decline of CSA is still open to debate, as conflicting results emerge from the diverse sources of child protection data. The trends of Canadian sexual crimes, as well as of other crimes and child maltreatment, do not clearly parallel those of the United States. Considering the inconsistent results from Canadian child protection services, and the fact that victimization surveys and police databases do not corroborate a decline in sexual crimes, it seems precipitous to conclude that CSA has been declining in Canada.» (p. 811)