This study aims to exploratively compare several characteristics of 330 offending and non-offending Dutch subjects, seeking advice/help from child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention helpline Stop it Now!-The Netherlands (SiN-NL).
With a retrospective cross-sectional design, SiN-NL contact logs between March 2012 and June 2016 were investigated.
Results revealed a few interesting differences and similarities. Contrary to earlier findings, attraction to minors and especially boys did not distinguish offenders and non-offenders. However, intimate partner status, suicidal tendencies and expectation of the helpline differed significantly between the study samples. Also, the relevance of several self-reported CSA promoting and impeding factors varied between groups. The non-offender group more often indicated fear of consequences and avoidance of risk situations to be constraining factors, whilst the offender group more frequently suggested benefiting from professional help and social support.
The results of this study might inform different forms of prevention and treatment programs aimed at similar help-seeking individuals. Because of their perceived CSA promoting potential by help seekers, access to children and substance abuse are important topics to address by operators and taken into account when assessing offending risk. In contrast to earlier findings, sexual orientation did not differentiate offenders from non-offenders and might play a less significant role. Higher rates of suicidal tendencies and need for help and therapy could imply that, compared to non-offenders, offenders require a more cautious approach and additional care.
To our knowledge this is the first study to investigate self-reports of offending and non-offending subjects, seeking advice/help from a CSA prevention helpline.
Wilpert, J. and Janssen, E. (2020), "Characteristics of offending and non-offending CSA helpline users explored", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 173-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-03-2020-0011Download as .RIS
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