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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76348 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Victimization of Children (From Maltreatment of the School-aged Child, P 79-89, 1980, Richard Volpe, Margot Breton and Judith Mittion, ed.)
Author(s): A W Burgess; N Groth
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: D C Heath and Co
Lexington, MA 02173
Sale Source: D C Heath and Co
125 Spring Street
Lexington, MA 02173
United States of America
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Forms of sexual victimization of children are discussed, and the identification and prevention of this problem are reviewed.
Abstract: Child molesters are seen to gain access to their victims through the use of some sort of psychological pressure, such as enticement or encouragement, or through the use of force in the form of threats and intimidation or brute physical strength. In sex pressure situations, offenders appear to strongly identify with their victims, and sex becomes the proof and measure of the children's acceptance and love. Most offenders who use threats and intimidation do not intend to injure their victims; few offenders derive pleasure in actually hurting children. A discussion of the impact of molestation on victims is based on work with child victims at the Boston City Hospital and considers the relationship of secrecy and sexual activity, conflicts in feelings when the offender is a family member, vulnerability to physical and psychological symptoms, offenders' surveillance of their victims, and sexuality as it relates to the victim. The role of school personnel in preventing offenses in the school environment and in identifying victims also receives attention. Among the signs of suspected sexual victimization considered are changes in a child's school behavior, sexually explicit behavior, and biophysical changes. Suggestions for investigating suspected victimization deal with the areas of reporting, avoiding confrontations between victims and perpetrators, incest, sex bias concerning targets, continued exposure, and irresolution on the part of investigators. Further suggestions concern educating children in avoiding rape and molestation. A five-item reference list is included.
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse detection; Child molesters; Educators child-abuse neglect role; Incest; Psychological victimization effects
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