The Perception of Elder Sexual Abuse in the Courtroom
This study explored mock juror perceptions of elder sexual mistreatment (ESM). In experiment 1, 118 participants read a fictional criminal trial summary of an ESM case in which a 76-year-old woman was allegedly abused by either her son or a neighbor. In experiment 2 (n = 360), the ESM occurred in either a nursing home or the elder’s home and the alleged perpetrator was either her son or a nursing home worker. Conviction rates were relatively low in both experiments (25% and 33%, respectively). Women were more pro-prosecution than men in case judgments. Overall, the study provides evidence that mock jurors may question the credibility of elders in ESM cases.
Violence Against Women
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