Gardner’s Spain

Computer translation Spanish to English from:

La Justicia Española Frente Al Abuso Sexual Infantil En El Entorno Familiar. Save the Children, 2012. 


An analysis of cases in the light of international human rights standards


The research is conducted to achieve the following objectives:

• Assess whether the judicial protection of the right of children to be protected from sexual abuse is being carried out in a manner that meets their interest, without hurting or re-victimizing them.

• Analyze whether or not the principle of “best interests of the child” is handled in these judicial proceedings, who defends ( in fact ) during the process and what court proceedings in each case contradict its realization.

• Assess the performance of the prosecution in driving judicial procedures and research.

• Identify the legal difficulties, procedural and expert ( technical ) for the full and effective exercise of the rights of children victims of abuse sexual seeking protection and justice, with special attention to the specific barriers that affect children in early childhood.

The research seeks to answer fundamental questions about the concern for various weaknesses in the judicial response to several cases of alleged sexual abuse of children in their early childhood. The research questions were as follows:

What are the main obstacles that hinder, once a possible case of child sexual abuse is detected, the alleged victim to obtain adequate protection? Are there obstacles added when the alleged perpetrator is the father? Are major obstacles because of the young age of the child or the children?

Are there different interpretations of the “best interests of the child”? What factors underlie the differences?

How is other evidence handled, especially the witness of the alleged victims in these cases? What are the main sources of victimization of girls and child victims of sexual abuse during the judicial processes?

What is the performance of the prosecution in the documented cases in terms of momentum of the process and ensuring diligence in court investigation of alleged sexual abuse?

Regarding the judicial assessment of the evidence, to what extent are children’s versions of the facts weighted?

What are the main arguments behind doubts about the credibility of the testimony of the children?

What impact on value judgments and behaviors of the progenitors does the assessment of allegations of ‘parental alienation syndrome’ (or paternal / maternal manipulation) have?

What effects can the failure to investigate sexual abuse have on the exercise of the rights of affected children?”

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