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Child sex offender mindset and grooming strategies: A discourse analysis of sex offender narratives from South Africa

Naidoo, L and Van Hout, MC Child sex offender mindset and grooming strategies: A discourse analysis of sex offender narratives from South Africa. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. ISSN 1053-8712 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Violence against children, particularly sexual violence continues to threaten South African society. Whilst severely under-reported, the perpetration of child sexual abuse (CSA) against boys and girls is a significant societal concern, underpinned by adverse childhood familial instability, childhood abuse in particular sexual abuse, violence, inequality and wider structural forces. The research base is growing, despite low disclosure rates and significant barriers to access. In order to better understand unique trajectories of perpetration of CSA, particular to the South African context, we conducted an in-depth qualitative study with twelve male child sex offenders who were attending a therapeutic, rehabilitation programme. They provided open discourse on the forms of enticement, exploitation or entrapment of child victims, including threats of harm, used to elicit compliance into sexual activities. They disclosed trauma dictated fantasy, and that they felt powerful and in control, when they sexually abused their victims. Most of the offences took place in their own home. By delving into the strategies and mind set of the offender who sexually abuse children, this study provides evidence of a distinct and deliberate, 'grooming process' used by offenders; and emphasises the cyclic patterns of offending. Understanding these truths explores its potential for the prevention of the CSA. In its entirety the research deconstructs the strategies of the offender and examines their actual role in the onset of sexually offending behaviour against children; in order to draw out the implications of these complexities for policy, practice, crime prevention, particularly in terms of the prevention of CSA

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health and Health Services, 1607 Social Work, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Routledge
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2021 11:47
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2021 11:47
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14305

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