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Situational Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

NCJ Number
Richard Wortley, Stephen Smallbone
Date Published
276 pages
Ten chapters written by leading criminologists and sex-offender researchers document and discuss the growing body of evidence that sex crimes against children are significantly influenced by opportunities and other immediate environmental conditions, which has implications for prevention strategies.
The book begins with two chapters that present a framework for applying situational analyses to understanding and preventing sexual offenses against children. Another chapter uses data from the new U.S. National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) to show that patterns of sexual offending against children suggest prevention strategies that target prevalent situations and opportunities in which child sexual abuse occurs. This is followed by a chapter that considers how the principles of situational crime prevention can be combined with knowledge of adolescent and adult sexual offender criminal methods (modus operandi) to inform sexual abuse prevention policies and practice. Another chapter presents the results from a qualitative study of interactions among "boy lovers" and between these men and the adolescent males with whom they seek a sexual and emotional connection. A chapter then applies situational theories of crime to the Internet as a currently low-risk vehicle for viewing, distributing, and promoting child pornography and the sexual abuse of children. Prevention tactics are suggested. A chapter addresses some of the situational elements and related treatment methods pertinent to child molesters who are intellectually disabled. This is followed by a chapter that encourages prevention and treatment methods that guide child molesters into positive behaviors and interests that reduce their attraction to situations that stimulate their deviant sexual drives. The concluding chapter reports on a study that found distinctive differences between child molesters who used persuasive tactics to draw victims into sexual activity and those who used aggressive tactics. Chapter notes and references