Chart 1

Interview Data Gathered from the Mother

1. Past history of physical abuse, neglect, etc. Potential for problems in parenting
2. Past history of sexual abuse Possible propensity to choose a sexual abuser as a partner, difficulties in perceiving risk to her children, propensity to overreact and perceive risk when not present
3. Current living situation Other potential victims, availability of social supports, degree of independence of alleged offender, presence or use of weapons in home
4. Education and employment history Ability to be independent of the alleged offender, to support self and children
5. Parenting Ability to provide for the needs of the child, including nurturance and protection; perception of the victim; evidence of "role reversal"
6. Discipline Possible punitive, abusive, or neglectful treatment; possible scapegoating of the victim
7. Partner relationship Possible patterns regarding choices of exploitive, abusive, and dominant or dependent partners; ability to see child's needs as more important than partner's or her need for a partner
8. Sexual history Possible pattern of being sexually exploited, promiscuous or dysfunctional; reports of sexual behavior by the alleged abuser that might assist in understanding dynamics of sexual abuse
9. Substance abuse Obstacle to parenting, index of overall functioning, possible index of ability to function independent of the alleged offender
10. Mental illness Index of overall function, index of ability to protect the child, possible problems in reality testing related to abuse allegation and other matters
11. Mental retardation Index of overall functioning and ability to parent, to be independent of the offender, and to protect child
12. Criminal history Index of overall functioning
13. Sexual abuse Beliefs about allegations, blame for sex abuse