The perpetrator in one-quarter of child sexual abuse cases is a stranger

October 22, 2012

Child sexual abuse is committed by strangers more than one-quarter of the time. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden reviewed the records of 196 men who had been convicted of child sexual abuse in Western Sweden. The study also found that only 8% of the perpetrators had been referred to a major forensic investigation.

The typical victim is a girl age 15 or younger who has been abused by a relative or acquaintance. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy reviewed the records of 196 people who had been convicted of child sexual abuse in Västra Götaland County in Western Sweden.

Anita Carlstedt and her team studied the relationship between the perpetrator and victim in each case. In order to generate sociodemographic, offender characteristic and mental disease data, the researchers also reviewed the records of 185 people who had been examined by a forensic psychiatrist after being convicted of child sexual abuse during the same period.

The studies found that the perpetrator in 27 percent of the cases was a stranger to the child.

"The majority of these cases did not involve physical contact," says Anita Carlstedt. "Among the most common offenses were indecent exposure, masturbation and sexual harassment."

Other results shows that: "One key conclusion is that the risk of recidivism is generally low," says Anita Carlstedt. "But the risk was somewhat higher when the perpetrator was not a relative or acquaintance of the child."

The reason for the study is that previous research on child sexual abuse has suffered from major defects, primarily because so many cases go unreported and it is often difficult to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The purpose of the thesis was to contribute to our knowledge about sex offenders, the nature of the offenses they commit and the types of sentences they receive.

"Learning more about sex offenders is vitally important if we are to treat them in a constructive manner and improve the results of forensic psychiatrists," says Anita Carlstedt.
-end-
Link to thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/29705

Contact:

Anita Carlstedt, Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Phone: +46 31 343 87 32
anita.carlstedt @neuro.gu.se

University of Gothenburg

Related Anita Carlstedt Articles from Brightsurf:

Merging solar cell and liquid battery produces long-lasting solar storage
Combining liquid chemical battery technology with perovskite solar cells has led to a new record in solar energy conversion within a single device.

Virginia Tech research provides new explanation for neutrino anomalies in Antarctica
A new research paper co-authored by a Virginia Tech assistant professor of physics provides a new explanation for two recent strange events that occurred in Antarctica -- high-energy neutrinos appearing to come up out of the Earth on their own accord and head skyward.

Next-generation solar cells pass strict international tests
A cost-effective method to stabilise perovskite solar cells could soon see them become commercially viable.

What protects minority languages from extinction?
A new study by Jean-Marc Luck from Paris and Anita Mehta from Oxford published in EPJ B, uses mathematical modelling to suggest two mechanisms through which majority and minority languages come to coexist in the same area.

Diet has rapid effects on sperm quality
Sperm are influenced by diet, and the effects arise rapidly.

New principle for activation of cancer genes discovered
Researchers have long known that some genes can cause cancer when overactive, but exactly what happens inside the cell nucleus when the cancer grows has so far remained enigmatic.

Octapharma USA sponsors ASA Symposium on fibrinogen supplementation in surgical patients
Octapharma USA sponsored a scientific symposium, 'Fibrinogen Supplementation in Surgical Patients - New Perspectives in Acquired Fibrinogen Deficiency,' at the recent American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting.The clinical trials discussed at ASA include: FORMA-05: Fibrinogen Concentrate vs.

Computer kidney could provide safer tests for new medications
A University of Waterloo researcher has spearheaded the development of the first computational model of the human kidney.

Discovery of the first common genetic risk factors for ADHD
A global team of researchers has found the first common genetic risk factors associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a complex condition affecting around one in 20 children.

Your severe eczema may best be treated by allergy shots
A medically-challenging case found that allergy shots provided significant benefits to the eczema symptoms suffered by a 48-year-old man.

Read More: Anita Carlstedt News and Anita Carlstedt Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.