Chapter

One nightmare leads to another

Roger W. Shuy

in The Language of Sexual Misconduct Cases

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926961
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980505 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926961.003.0018
One nightmare leads to another

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This chapter examines a case of child sexual abuse where a young girl was plagued by nightmares in which her uncle sexually abused her. Shawna was only five when her uncle, Sam Graybo, began sexually molesting her. She eventually told her mother about her nightmares, who subsequently reported it to the police. The police advised Shawna's mother to make a confrontation call, in order to make the suspect admit guilt and apologize for committing the act. This chapter analyzes these two conversations, noting that the government's transcript removed the uncle's long sigh—a nonverbal signal that carries its own meaning—before he supposedly admitted his guilt.

Keywords: child sexual abuse; nightmares; confrontation call; nonverbal signal; government's transcript

Chapter.  2654 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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