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Department of Psychology


Immigrants from East Asia make up 14.21% of the total number of immigrants in Canada. These families face many challenges as they acculturate to North America but, sadly, some of these children may be at risk for sexual abuse. In this position paper, we outline the ways in which East Asian children are at a particular disadvantage when considering prosecution of those who perpetrate abuse compared to Western non-immigrant children. We focus specifically on two areas of concern: 1) Cultural differences that can impact the disclosure of sexual abuse; and, 2) Language differences which reduce the chances that perpetrators will be prosecuted for sexual abuse. The consequences for East Asian immigrant youth who allege (or are suspected) that they are victims of abuse are serious. East Asian children face an uphill battle to see justice in sexual abuse cases. Thus, a significant portion of immigrant children will not see their abusers punished and, worse, the knowledge that prosecution is unlikely makes East Asian immigrant children a targeted population for those who abuse.


Copyright © 2016 American Psychological Association. This article first appeared in Canadian PsychologyPsychologie canadienne 57(4), Nov 2016, 300-307.


This article may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.