Dietrich Pülschen & Simone Pülschen

Fachhochschule für Verwaltung und Dienstleistung, Europa-Universität Flensburg

Child sexual abuse – myth acceptance within a sample of police students

In the majority of cases of sexual abuse against a child, the only evidence of sexual abuse is the statement by the victim describing the abuse that occurred. Therefore it is of great importance that interviewers conduct the forensic interview in a professional manner. A defining feature of many sug­gestive interviews is the interviewer bias. The interviewer’s biased belief is conveyed to the child through a variety of suggestive interviewing techniques that have been shown to produce false reports and false memories in children.

Our study examines the acceptance of myths in a sample of N=233 future police officers in order to provide relevant in­dications for the training of police officers. The results show the acceptance of seven myths by more than one quarter of the interviewed.