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Boletim de Psicologia

Print version ISSN 0006-5943


COSTA, Liana Fortunato; PENSO, Maria Aparecida; ALMEIDA, Tânia Mara Campos de  and  RIBEIRO, Maria Alexina. “Justice is slow, stupid and blind”: families’ perceptions on the juridical dimension of sexual abuse crimes. Bol. psicol [online]. 2008, vol.58, n.128, pp. 85-102. ISSN 0006-5943.

We intended to discuss aspects related to the experience that families, in sexual abuse situation, had in dealing with the justice, in the contact with the judge and with the feelings provoked by judicial decisions. These families had great difficulty to understand the progress of the process, the bureaucracy and juridical language, always very inaccessible. The interviews were made with eight families with an income of one to two minimum wages and low school level at their homes. The analysis of the information constituted an interpretative-construction process. Four meaning zones emerged: “The judges know what is right and wrong”; Position next to the judge: “I can trust him”; The process is delayed and minimizing the problem, discrediting the child and abandonment of the family. The families, lacking the knowledge of their rights, put emphasis on penalizing the perpetrator and see the judge as someone who can be trusted completely.

Keywords : Clinical Psychology; Sexual abuse; Forensic Psychology; Restorative justice; Family.

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