Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

M. Alexis Kennedy, Chair

Second Committee Member

Randall Sheldon

Third Committee Member

Tamara Madensen

Graduate Faculty Representative

Rebecca Nathanson

Number of Pages



Child sexual abuse has gained significant attention from the medical, legal and social research communities over the last couple decades. Developed in the 1980s, Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) have been noted as one of the leading developments in combating child sexual abuse. Child Advocacy Centers bring together multi-disciplinary teams in a child friendly environment to improve resources for abused children and their families as well as aid in prosecution. The majority of states across the country have adopted aggressive legislation and funding initiatives to aid in protecting this vulnerable population. This study analyses Nevada's position on childhood sexual abuse and compares it to states similar in demographics. While many studies evaluating the effectiveness of CAC have focused largely on prosecutorial outcomes, this study evaluates CAC effectiveness on the basis of report disposition and prior victimization. This study finds that the number of CACs located within a state has a significant impact on report disposition and prior victimization for children that have been sexually abused.


Child Advocacy Centers – Evaluation; Child sexual abuse; Child sexual abuse – Prevention; Multi-disciplinary teams; Nevada


Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social Work