Victims Speak: Comparing Child Sexual Abusers and Their Victims Accounts of Offence Circumstances

Davidson, J (2006) Victims Speak: Comparing Child Sexual Abusers and Their Victims Accounts of Offence Circumstances. Victims and Offenders, 1(2), pp. 159-174.

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Abstract

This article presents findings from a longitudinal study. The research aimed to explore the effectiveness of a treatment program for offenders which lasted for three years. The research design was structured around the program with interviews and psychometric testing undertaken at key points in time with the same group of respondents. View all notes that sought to evaluate a treatment program for child sexual abusers. A triangulated methodological approach was adopted drawing upon quantitative and qualitative methodological techniques. The focus here is upon one element of this research. 2 2The quantitative element of this research will be published shortly but is referred to in the following reports Davidson 2000, 2003 [research funded by the National Probation Service]. Psychometric testing was undertaken over a four-year period with the men attending the treatment program to explore shifts in the extent of denial, blame attribution, and victim empathy over time. Offender cognitive distortions, general health, and self-esteem were also explored via psychometric testing. An interview-administered survey was undertaken with all sex offenders registered with the Probation Service (those on probation and in custody) in order to gather demographic data, and 117 of 150 offenders responded. View all notes Ninety-one in-depth interviews were conducted over a four-year period with a small, nonrandom sample of twenty-one male offenders who had been convicted of sexual offenses against children. All of the men were subject to probation orders with a psychiatric condition (Criminal Justice Act, 1991). One of the aims of this element of the research was to explore the extent to which evidence of denial could be found in offenders’ accounts of offense circumstance and also to explore the extent to which offenders minimized the nature and extent of abuse perpetrated. Offenders’ accounts of offense circumstances were compared to victim statements, and stark differences emerge. These findings have considerable implications for treatment practice with sex offenders, where victims’ perceptions could be used to directly confront offender denial and minimization.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 51710
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
DOI: 10.1080/15564880600626114
ISSN: 1556-4886
Deposited On: 17 Jul 2012 03:43
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2012 00:37

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