A importância do testemunho da criança na tomada de decisão judicial em casos de abuso sexual

  • Catarina Branco Nogueira (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Sexual abuse of children was acknowledged as a relevant issue on our society, whereby since 2001 it was considered a public crime. With the raising of the representation of the crime and denounces of sexual abuse, there is a bigger concern with the dynamics and effects that the sexual abuse can inflict on children. In most cases the child is the only witness, besides the offender, that the crime really happened. Thereby child’s testimony is of major importance during the progress of the judicial process as the only existing proof. On the other hand, judicial decision-making is a complex process of decision making, since it has to take into account the variability and flexibility of several factors and evidence that might compose the criminal process. Since investigation about judicial decision-making is generally scarce in Portugal, we intend to contribute with some relevant information regarding Portuguese context. This study aims to comprehend the importance of child’s testimony on judicial decision making, specifically in sexual abuse cases. Through the qualitative analysis of interviews made to magistrates, we hope to understand if the child’s testimony is valued by them or not, on the moment of decision making.
Date of Award2013
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRaquel Matos (Supervisor) & Catarina Ribeiro (Co-Supervisor)


  • Sexual abuse of children
  • Children’s testimony
  • Judicial decision-making
  • Magistrate
  • Value of testimony


  • Mestrado em Psicologia

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