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Durham e-Theses
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Understanding Female-Perpetrated Child Sexual Abuse in Organisational Contexts

DARLING, ANDREA,JEAN (2018) Understanding Female-Perpetrated Child Sexual Abuse in Organisational Contexts. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Organisational child sexual abuse has received unprecedented attention over recent years with numerous local, national and international inquiries taking place. At the same time interest in female sex offenders has increased, however, despite this focus in both areas there is an almost total lack of research examining the phenomenon of female-perpetrated child sexual abuse in organisational contexts. This thesis combines these fields of inquiry and addresses this gap.

Situational crime prevention theory framed the mixed methods approach examining 136 cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by women against children they worked with in organisational contexts. The sample originates from the UK, USA and Canada between 2000 and 2016. Freedom of Information request data from the Ministry of Justice and professional regulators was used to examine the current context of this abuse. Qualitative and quantitative content analysis of court reports, professional regulator decisions and media articles then examined 92 variables addressing: perpetrator and victim characteristics; offence processes and modus operandi and situational and environmental factors. The responses of organisations and criminal justice and child protection systems were also investigated, as well as the short- and long-term impacts upon victims.

The findings show most women offend alone against a single, post-pubescent male victim, often with particular vulnerabilities. Abuse occurs predominantly outside the organisational environment and the use of electronic communication is common. The findings indicate these women were not pre-disposed offenders but rather their behaviour was influenced by socio-cultural, situational and contextual factors. This highlights the significant influence organisations can have in preventing this abuse and wider implications for policy and practice are also discussed.

This thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge by being the first systematic investigation specifically examining female-perpetrated child sexual abuse in a range of organisational contexts.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:child sexual abuse, female sex offenders, institutional child sexual abuse
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:28 Aug 2018 14:46

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