An exploratory study of victim resistance in child sexual abuse: Offender modus operandi and victim characteristics
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The use of self-protection strategies and related situation in rape has been studied by several scholars. The circumstances in which children are more likely to resist sexual victimization have, however, not been studied. This study examines the association between offence-related factors - specifically, the pre-offence situation, the modus operandi strategies adopted by offenders, and victim characteristics - and victim resistance in sexual offences against children. The sample consisted of 94 adult offenders convicted of having committed a sexual offence against a child (or adolescent) of 16 years of age or less, and who agreed to provide confidential self-report data concerning their offending behaviour and victim resistance actions. Victim resistance strategies were regrouped into three categories, namely, physical resistance, forceful verbal resistance, and non-forceful verbal resistance. The total number of resistance strategies was also used in the analyses. Overall, the age of the victim was found to be related to non-forceful verbal resistance, and violence was related to all forms of resistance. Younger girls were found to be more likely to employ non-forceful verbal resistance than older girls and to use a greater number of strategies as well. In order to provide reliable knowledge to build on for reducing the risk of child sexual abuse, this study suggests the need for prevention programs to include empirical findings regarding the circumstances in which children are more likely to resist sexual victimization.
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
© 2010 Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Causes and Prevention of Crime