Child victims of suspected sexual abuse may be heard in court as witnesses. According to the literature, traumatic experiences increase suggestibility and interfere with memory accuracy. The aims of this study were: 1) to identify any differences in immediate and delayed suggestibility in a group of 80 minors, who are suspected victims of sexual abuse, and in a group of 80 minors non-involved in judicial proceedings; 2) to explore only in the group of suspected victims the effects of intra-family vs extra-family abuse, the number of episodes of abuse, and the invasive influence on memory and on suggestibility. Results showed that suspected victims had a higher level of suggestibility and a lower level of memory performance. Intra-family abuse and invasive influence increased suggestibility. The number of episodes of abuse did not seem to have any effects.
Keywords: Suggestibility, sexual abuse, memory, trauma, children