Angelita Maria Ferreira Machado Rios*
Marcio Magalhães Arruda Lira**
Ana Carolina Weissbach Rodrigues***
Arthur Novak Daudt***
Vanessa Machado Rios****
Rios, A.M.F.M.*; Lira, M.M.A.**; Rodrigues, A.C.W.***; Daudt, A.N.***; Rios, V.M.****
Perita Médico-Legista Psiquiatra do Centro de Referência no Atendimento Infanto-Juvenil (CRAI) /Departamento Médico-Legal de Porto Alegre*; Perito Médico-Legista do Instituto Médico-Legal de Fortaleza**; Acadêmicos do Curso de Psicologia da Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Porto Alegre (PUCRS)***; Acadêmica do Curso de Medicina da Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Porto Alegre (PUCRS)****
INTRODUCTION: The peculiarity of sexual violence against children is a high rate of negativity in the physical examination, the absence of evidences that prove the materiality of the crime during the expert evaluation (Vanrell, 2008). Since in most cases reported to the police there is rarely any evidence besides the victim’s report, the psychical interview conducted by a qualified professional is a tool used to obtain child testimony and validate it as expert evidence. The objective of this work is to present the investigative interview as a relevant element in the probative body of evidence in cases of sexual violence, by which a valid victim’s report is obtained and signs and symptoms of psychicological suffering are evaluated. METHODS:
Presentation of data gathered in investigative interviews conducted with those responsible and victims of alleged sexual abuse, occurring between June 2015 and June 2016 in a specialized center in Porto Alegre. Cross-sectional study based on analysis of medical-legal documents. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK: In the absence of materiality in this type of crime, it is important to evaluate other elements of the probative evidence, avoiding the victimization of the child or adolescent. A structured interview has been used in several countries as a technique for collecting information (Yulle, 1993). Studies have shown that children can issue reliable, detailed and accurate reports of abuse, such as those developed by Bibrose and Goodman (2000). RESULTS: About 100 cases of allegations of sexual violence in children and adolescents were evaluated, hosted and interviewed at the multidisciplinary service located at Presidente Vargas Materno-Infantil Hospital in Porto Alegre. In this study we will present sociodemographic variables related to the victims and suspects. In the absence of physical traces in most cases, investigative interviews demonstrated the signs and symptoms of psychic suffering existence using mostly the victims’ words as evidence. CONCLUSION: The investigative complexity in sexual crimes against children and adolescents has demanded from Forensic Psychiatry and Legal Psychology the challenge of presenting the victim’s testimony and/or the signs and symptoms of psychic suffering. In the absence of physical traces, it was possible to demonstrate, in the majority of the cases analyzed in this study, that there was a criminal act.
Bidrose, Sue. & Goodman, G. S. (2000). Testimony and evidence: a scientific case study of memory for child sexual abuse. Applied Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 14, pp. 197-213.
Vanrell, J. P. Sexologia Forense. 2 ed. São Paulo: J H Mizuno, 2008.
Yulle, J. (1993). Interviewing children in sexual abuse cases. In: Child victims, child witnesses: undestanding and improving testimony. New York: Guilford.
Please click here for the full article in portuguese.