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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 183741 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Abuser (From Battered Child, Fifth Edition, P 329-346, 1997, Mary E. Helfer, Ruth S. Kempe, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-183728)
Author(s): Gail Ryan M.A.
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: University of Chicago Press
Chicago, IL 60637
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
Publicity Manager
5801 S. Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL
United States of America
Type: Collected Work
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The perpetrators of sexual abuse of children have much in common with abusers who maltreat children in nonsexual ways; victimization and trauma, parental loss and disrupted attachments, neglect, and deprivation early in life are often apparent in the clinical descriptions of all types of child abusers.
Abstract: The sexual nature of child sexual abuse is perceived as different from physical or emotional abuse for a variety of reasons that have influenced both pervasive beliefs and particular interventions. There is wide acceptance in the field of the belief that every individual who has been sexually abusive in the past should be viewed as at risk for abusive acts in the future. Treatment of sex offenders is not always a cure; rather, it provides new understanding, options, and motivations for the individual to manage the risk and avoid further abusive behavior. For some sex offenders, risk remains high despite vigorous interventions, even when the individual is motivated to change, due to the habituated nature of the abuse and/or persistent sexual arousal to children. For others, risk may be significantly moderated by the treatment process and the individual's commitment to lifestyle changes. Relapse prevention plans should consider the individual's level of risk in order to provide appropriate deterrents. Aftercare may include on-going supervision and restrictions imposed by the family or by the court, as well as continued therapeutic support. The treatment of sex offenders is not an act of compassion in and of itself, and yet its goal should be to model compassionate behavior. The public's abhorrence of sexually abusive behavior is fueling more punitive responses, and treatment is available for only a minority of adult sex offenders. Effective interventions should be both therapeutic and correctional, with the therapist and the court exercising both empathy and accountability. Even so, treatment is only a defensive strategy after victimization has occurred. Prevention intervention in the care of infants and children is the key to prevention for all types of abusive behavior. 91 references and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse prevention; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Crimes against children; Juvenile victims; Sex offender treatment; Sex offenders; Sexual assault victims
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