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Individual, family and abuse characteristics of 700 British child and adolescent sexual abusers.

Hackett, S. and Phillips, J. and Masson, H. and Balfe, M. (2013) 'Individual, family and abuse characteristics of 700 British child and adolescent sexual abusers.', Child abuse review., 22 (4). pp. 232-245.


The individual, family and abuse characteristics of 700 children and young people referred to nine UK services over a nine-year period between 1992 and 2000 as a result of their sexually abusive behaviours were examined. The most common age at referral was 15 years, though a third of all referrals related to children aged 13 or under. Thirty-eight per cent of the sample were identified as learning disabled. Surprisingly high rates of sexual and non-sexual victimisation were present in the backgrounds of the children and young people referred. A wide range of abusive behaviours was perpetrated with just over half of the sample having penetrated or having attempted to penetrate another individual. Victims were usually known to the abuser but in 75 per cent of cases were not related. Fifty-one per cent of the sample abused females only, though 49 per cent had at least one male victim. The implications for policy and practice with children and young people with harmful sexual behaviours are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Special Issue: Children and young people who harm others.
Keywords:Adolescent sex offender, Sexual abuse, Sexual offending, Characteristics.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Hackett, S., Phillips, J., Masson, H. and Balfe, M. (2013), Individual, Family and Abuse Characteristics of 700 British Child and Adolescent Sexual Abusers. Child Abuse Review, Special Issue: Children and Young People Who Harm Others, 22(4): 232-245, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:01 July 2012
Date deposited:21 February 2017
Date of first online publication:27 February 2013
Date first made open access:No date available

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