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Experiencing Sexual Victimisation in Childhood: Meaning and Impact - the Perspectives of Child Sexual Abusers / Susan M. Roberts
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DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.40839
In this small-scale, qualitative, study, the focus is on 40 convicted, imprisoned adult, male child sexual abusers who each reported, during individual interview, that they had been sexually abused in childhood. Thirty two of those men had been abused by males; 5 by females; and 3 by both males and...
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In this small-scale, qualitative, study, the focus is on 40 convicted, imprisoned adult, male child sexual abusers who each reported, during individual interview, that they had been sexually abused in childhood. Thirty two of those men had been abused by males; 5 by females; and 3 by both males and females. Moreover, many had been abused by other children and young people – male and female - some of whom were their siblings; and also by those in positions of trust.This study is retrospective in design, and grounded in offenders’ accounts of the sexual abuse they experienced in childhood; their perceptions of that; its impact on them; and their views as to the extent to which it contributed to their ‘becoming an abuser’. The emphasis throughout is on exploring difference within and between groups of offenders. This approach is in direct contrast to the previous tendency to: ‘lump all perpetrators together, irrespective of their experiences as a victim’ (Glasser et al. 2001: 483).Child sexual abusers are more likely to report sexual victimisation in childhood than other offenders and those within the general population. However, there is a dearth of research on their experiences of that abuse and its ‘meaning’ to them. This research has been undertaken to give voice to a population which is rarely heard; and subsequently to contribute to more effective safeguarding and intervention with both victims and offenders. The research findings highlight the sense of difference evident both within and between groups of offenders, in terms of their victimisation; and also the abuse they subsequently perpetrated. The thesis concludes with some reflection on the implications of this for policy and practice with victims and offenders; and a ‘model’ of vulnerability is proposed, based on the men’s narratives.
Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law