Disclosure of child abuse in conflict areas

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Analyzing legal policies requires an in-depth understanding of the sociopolitical contexts within which sexual abuse is disclosed. Data presented in this study are based on a larger study of 628 Palestinian Israeli girls aged 14 to 16 years. Of these 628 girls, 28 victims of sexual abuse discussed their abuse with the research team. In addition, interviews were conducted with professional helpers. The contextual analyses of the interviews focused on the way young girls perceived disclosure, social support, and legal intervention to their abuse. Data revealed that the girls' attitudes not only conformed to general findings on disclosure of sexual abuse but also reflected sociopolitical fears and stressors. Helpers struggled between their beliefs that they should abide by the state's formal legal policies and their consideration of the victim's context. The study reveals how decontextualizing child protection laws and policies can keep sexually abused girls from seeking help.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1263-1291
Number of pages29
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Child protection laws
  • Child protection policies
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Conflict areas
  • Disclosure
  • Intervention
  • Palestinian Israelis


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