Myths Regarding Institutional Abuse

It has been (wrongly) assumed that child molestation and rape occur only under certain circumstances: by a stranger, unsupervised, and by someone who should not be trusted. The reality, however, is that many incidents of child abuse and rape are committed by someone the victim knows and who is in a trusted position (e.g., daycare provider). They can occur at church by a clergy member, at school by a teacher, at sports practice by a coach, or by a volunteer at a civic organization. Such instances are discussed in Chapter 8.

Myths Regarding Investigating Abuse

Many of the myths already discussed permeate the investigations process. For example, it is not uncommon for someone to believe that women will claim to be raped when they regret having sex (University of Minnesota Duluth, 2001). This, along with other rape myths, can affect the investigation of sex crimes—from the 911 operator to the detective who leads an investigation. The investigation process is discussed in depth in Chapter 9.

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