Committee Chair

Metzger, Richard

Committee Member

Ourth, Lynn; Welsh, Talia


Dept. of Psychology


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Child sexual abuse, a horrific and damaging crime against the most vulnerable of human beings, is decried by major religions and cultures around the world. And yet, it is flourishing today in various forms within every major society. Empirical research has been conducted in the areas of treatment and legal issues for victims of child sexual abuse. This research indicates a dichotomy of advocates in treatment systems and skeptics in legal systems that could conflict with each other in providing treatment and justice to abuse victims. This study offers a view of the status of child sexual abuse in one community, in order to examine problems in these treatment and legal systems. Structured interviews were conducted with a case investigator, therapists for child and adult abuse survivors, prosecutors in both juvenile and criminal courts, and judges in criminal and circuit courts with prosecutorial and/or defense attorney backgrounds. The combined accounts of these experienced professionals paint a picture of the achievements and challenges of one community in its attempt to deal with the crime of child sexual abuse. Inasmuch as their experiences are shared by many other professionals in other communities, this picture can begin to provide answers to the question of how to eliminate the crime of child sexual abuse in every community.


I would like to thank my chairperson, Dr.Richard Metzger, for his belief in this project and for his guidance and advice throughout the process. I also thank the others on my committee, Drs. Lynn Ourth and Talia Welsh, for their help, guidance, and patience. Many thanks also go to Lynne Hill-Clark and Amanda Honish for all their emotional and technical support, and to Neve Trumpeter for her Friday support sessions. I also give thanks to Paula and Donna for their belief in me, and to my muses, Sabrina and Serendipity.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Child sexual abuse--Law and legislation--United States--Tennessee; Child sexual abuse--Psychological aspects


Criminology and Criminal Justice

Document Type

Masters theses




vii, 165 leaves



Call Number

LB2369.2 .J69 2006