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NCJ Number: 149572 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Victims Who Fight Back: Claiming in Cases of Professional Sexual Exploitation
Journal: Justice System Journal  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:(1994)  Pages:73-92
Author(s): C Bohmer
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
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Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on empirical data obtained from in-depth interviews with victims of sexual harassment, lawyers, and alleged perpetrators, this study examines the process whereby victims perceive they have been victimized and proceed to obtain criminal, civil, or administrative relief.
Abstract: The author conducted in-depth interviews with more than 12 victims who have taken some kind of action in response to their sexual exploitation. Interviews were also conducted with nine lawyers who have represented many victims and the professionals who have been accused of sexual exploitation. Also interviewed were several professionals whose work involves counseling both victims and accused professionals. The process whereby a victim of professional sexual exploitation becomes a claimant is a complex one that is influenced not only by factors that relate to the victim herself but also by factors within society. Many victims "drop out" at various points in the process. Some never define themselves as victims who are entitled to redress but continue to accept a script that puts them in the role of participant in the sexual encounter. Others may define the events as injurious but are psychologically unable to take the matter further. Others are discouraged from doing so by those with whom they interact. Subsequent therapists may tell victims their recovery will be easier if they put it all behind them; lawyers may advise they do not have a case; administrators of licensing boards may make the process so user-unfriendly that victims drop any charges they have filed. Factors that contribute to the small number of cases carried to conclusion are the gender imbalance of the powerful male and the powerless female, lack of understanding of the coercive power of the professional relationship, the willingness to allow professionals to control the complaint process, and lack of support for victims from professional organizations. 53 references
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Courts; Professional conduct and ethics; Sexual harassment; Victim reactions to crime
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