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Psychosocial Intervention

versión On-line ISSN 2173-4712versión impresa ISSN 1132-0559


ARCE, Ramón; FARINA, Francisca  y  VILARINO, Manuel. Contrasting the Efficiency of the CBCA in the Assessment of Credibility in Violence Against Women Cases. Psychosocial Intervention [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.2, pp.109-119. ISSN 2173-4712.

Archival data reveal that in Spain the conviction rate for cases of gender violence is approximately 70%, whereas the conviction rate for other crimes is in the region of 90%. This dysfunction arises from a multiplicity of factors, chiefly the lack of evidence. As most gender violence occurs within the privacy of the home, the burden of proof rests exclusively or primarily on the victim’s testimony. Testimonies admitted in a court of law are often corroborated by circumstantial evidence (e.g., legal criteria of plausibility), and in particular the psychological report on testimonial credibility that plays a critical role in verdict outcome. An archive study of cases of gender violence revealed that psychological reports were admitted in 20% of the cases reviewed. Although Criteria Based Content Analysis (CBCA; Steller and Köhnken, 1994) is not valid for legal contexts, it has been observed to be the standard procedure for the evaluation of testimonial credibility in the archive cases of gender violence under review. Thus, a study involving 50 women (25 real victims and 25 feigners of gender violence) was undertaken to assess the efficacy of this procedure for the discrimination of real victims from feigners. The results reveal that real testimonies contained more reality criteria than faked testimonies. Nevertheless, the procedure, in line with the demands of forensic evidence in terms of the unacceptability of false positives (i.e., feigned case classed as real), erroneously detected 44% of real testimonies as false negatives (i.e., detected real case as feigned). The results are discussed in terms of the practical implications for forensic psychology.

Palabras clave : violence against women; battered woman; credibility; CBCA; testimony; expert testimony.

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