The experiences of school psychological counselors on reporting sexual abuse cases: A thematic analysis

Avcı M., Yıldırım T.

PSYCHOLOGY IN THE SCHOOLS, vol.0, no.0, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 0 Issue: 0
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/pits.22909
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Applied Science & Technology Source, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: reporting, school counselor, sexual abuse
  • Inonu University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of the present study was to analyze and understand the experiences of school counselors regarding the reporting of sexual abuse cases and to offer solutions. This study, which was based on a qualitative design, was also based on a phenomenological approach. The study group was determined with the purposeful sampling method and consisted of 15 school counselors who had previously reported sexual abuse cases in 15 different cities. The five main themes that emerged as a result of the thematic analysis of the qualitative interviews with the participants were as follows; “Security Problem of School Counselors,” “Chain of Ethical Violations,” “Judicial Process,” “Competence,” “Reputation Issue” and finally “School Counselor's Disclosure Dilemma.” The victim's family and environment, the accused and the environment, and the school administration are exposed to pressures in the process of reporting sexual abuse cases, as a result of these pressures, they give up the legal obligation to run the judicial reporting process, the chain of ethical violations and difficulties in the investigation and prosecution process, and the spiral of not seeing themselves as professionally competent are at the center of the experiences of school counselors who report sexual abuse cases.