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Department of Mental Health Child and Adolescent Forensics. Christine J. Carlberg, MA. Overview of Program. Interviews are conducted at Greenville Rape Crisis and Child Abuse Center or Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). Average about five interviews per week. What is a CAC?.

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overview of program
Overview of Program
  • Interviews are conducted at Greenville Rape Crisis and Child Abuse Center or Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).
  • Average about five interviews per week.
what is a cac
What is a CAC?
  • National Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • 1985
  • By Congressman Robert “Bud” Cramer, then a District Attorney
history of gmhc and cac
History of GMHC and CAC
  • 2004 – CAC lost funding for full time forensic interviewer. The GMHC and CAC collaborated to develop program that is now part of GMHC.
  • CAC agreed to provide office space, administrative support, and training on regular basis for interviewers.
  • Beneficial to both agencies.
  • Benefits community as a whole.
CAC serves Greenville and Pickens Counties
  • Interviews are paid for by State Office of Victim Assistance (SOVA), Medicaid, insurance, etc.
what is a forensic interview
What is a Forensic Interview?
  • A structured, non-leading, developmentally appropriate method of gathering information that considers all hypotheses.
  • Child friendly
  • Non-coercive
  • Fact finding
what it is not
What it is not:
  • An interrogation
  • Mind reading
  • The only way to get information
  • Additional abuse to the child if done properly
why is a child referred to the cac
Why is a Child referred to the CAC?
  • Sexual abuse (90%)
  • Physical abuse (6%)
  • Witness (.7%)
  • Neglect (.5%)
  • Other (3%)
who are our clients
Who are our Clients?

*Gender *Ages

  • 71% Female - 44% 0-6
  • 29% Male - 39% 7-12

- 17% 13-18


-21% African American

-61% Caucasian

-8% Hispanic

-3% Multiethnicity

-1% Native American

-1% Other

-5% Unknown

who are the alleged perpetrators
Who are the Alleged Perpetrators?
  • Ages

*7% Under 13

*15% 13-17

*45% 18+

*28% Unknown

alleged perpetrators continued
Alleged Perpetrators Continued
  • Relationship to Child

*22% Parent

*7% Step-parent

*11% Parent’s boy/girl friend

*22% Other relative

*32% Other known

*6% Unknown

statistics about offenders
Statistics about Offenders
  • Males accounted for 94.6% of offenders committing sexual violence against children.
  • Most offenders who committed acts of sexual violence against children were older that the victim, 49.5% were more than 10 years older.
  • Males victimizing females accounted for 79.8% of sexual violence against children.
57.6% of victims of child sexual violence knew their offender.
  • Children were more likely than adults to have been victimized by a family member.
  • 52% of family members who sexually assaulted another family member were more than 20 years older than the victim.
statewide statistics about csa
Statewide Statistics about CSA
  • According to the Sexual Violence Against Children in South Carolina 1991-2005 report published by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs:
  • There were 3165 cases of sexual violence against children in 2005
  • Children made up 63.9% of all sexual violence victims from 1991 to 2005
The sexual violence rate against children increased 37.5% from 1991 to 2005 compared to 13.3% for adults.
  • Forcible fondling was the most frequent violence sexual offence against children, accounting for 48.3%
  • Greenville County reported the most acts of sexual violence against children in 2005.
Children were the most often sexually attacked in private homes and residences.
  • Children between 10 and 14 years of age experienced the highest sexual violence victim rate.
  • The sexual victimization rate for girls was almost 5 times the rate of boys.
what we need to keep in mind
What we need to keep in mind:
  • Often not much evidence of sexual abuse.
  • Between 87-92% of the time there is no medical evidence.
  • Therefore it seems like it’s the child’s word against the perpetrator’s.
  • Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDT) are very important.
  • Law enforcement
  • DSS
  • Medical
  • Solicitor’s Office
  • Forensic interviewers
  • Others: therapist, school personnel, etc.
  • We want to collaborate the child’s statement, protect the child, and prosecute the case.
so what do interviewers do
So what do interviewers do?
  • Trained to question in developmentally appropriate way
  • Questions are non-leading
  • Defensible
  • Follow a protocol
  • Testify
  • Offer assessment and recommendations
  • CornerHouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Together with American Prosecutor Research Institute developed Finding Words.
  • South Carolina first state for Finding Words – partnered with the Children’s Law Center in Columbia.
  • Training also offered in Huntsville, AL.
    • National Children’s Advocacy Center
  • R – rapport
  • A – anatomy identification
  • T – touch inquiry
  • A – abuse scenario
  • C – closure
  • Each step is based on research and therefore legally defensible.
  • Anatomical Drawings
  • Anatomical dolls
  • Markers and paper
  • Experience and training
  • MDT
future of forensics in greenville county
Future of Forensics in Greenville County
  • Jessie’s Law – videos can be shown in court for children ages 12 and under

- Does not mean children won’t testify

2 positive and one negative outcome in criminal trial.

80 year sentence heavily weighed on interview.

Solicitor’s office now says every child under the age of 12 must have interview.

Prior to law, video tape was not used.

More education to referring agencies and Solicitor’s office, increase number of interviews, grow program.