Disclosure and recantation

Cases involving the sexual abuse of children can involve complicated dilemmas that are compounded by delayed disclosure or recantation of the allegation. Both predicaments present important questions to forensic interviewers, attorneys, judges, and jurors who must evaluate the veracity of children’s sexual abuse allegations. Why do children wait to disclose sexual abuse? What causes children to recant an allegation? Honest answers to these questions are required to ensure that perpetrators of sexual abuse are punished and children that are sexually abused are accurately identified and protected.

Dr. Daniel Swerdlow-Freed’s training in forensic interviewing of children includes extensive knowledge of the research on child sexual abuse disclosure and recantation. His expert testimony clearly explains factors such as the quality of the forensic interview that facilitate or impede disclosure. In situations where recantation has occurred, he explains the possible causes such as parental pressure, fear, misunderstanding of the alleged behavior, or the desire to undo what the allegation set in motion. Research-based testimony about delayed disclosure and recantation assists judges and jurors in understanding and considering these occurrences along with other evidence to reach a fair disposition.


Dr. Swerdlow-Freed provides research-based expertise regarding:

  • Developmental differences in disclosure of child sexual abuse
  • Factors that enhance and reduce disclosure of child sexual abuse
  • Factors that contribute to recantation of allegations of child sexual abuse
  • Patterns of disclosure of child sexual abuse
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