A Bayesian Decision-Support Tool for Child Sexual Abuse Assessment and Investigation

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/240786

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Tadei , A , Pensar , J , Corander , J , Finnilä , K , Santtila , P & Antfolk , J 2019 , ' A Bayesian Decision-Support Tool for Child Sexual Abuse Assessment and Investigation ' , Sexual Abuse , vol. 31 , no. 4 , pp. 374-396 . https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063217732791

Title: A Bayesian Decision-Support Tool for Child Sexual Abuse Assessment and Investigation
Author: Tadei, Alessandro; Pensar, Johan; Corander, Jukka; Finnilä, Katarina; Santtila, Pekka; Antfolk, Jan
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Helsinki, University of Oslo
Date: 2019-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 23
Belongs to series: Sexual Abuse
ISSN: 1079-0632
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/240786
Abstract: In assessments of child sexual abuse (CSA) allegations, informative background information is often overlooked or not used properly. We therefore created and tested an instrument that uses accessible background information to calculate the probability of a child being a CSA victim that can be used as a starting point in the following investigation. Studying 903 demographic and socioeconomic variables from over 11,000 Finnish children, we identified 42 features related to CSA. Using Bayesian logic to calculate the probability of abuse, our instrument-the Finnish Investigative Instrument of Child Sexual Abuse (FICSA)-has two separate profiles for boys and girls. A cross-validation procedure suggested excellent diagnostic utility (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.97 for boys and AUC = 0.88 for girls). We conclude that the presented method can be useful in forensic assessments of CSA allegations by adding a reliable statistical approach to considering background information, and to support clinical decision making and guide investigative efforts.
Subject: 112 Statistics and probability
515 Psychology
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