Child sexual victimisation: ethnographic stories of stranger and acquaintance grooming

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Abstract

In recent years research into child sexual offending has highlighted “grooming” as an important part of the offence chain. Topics that have come to dominate the research agenda have focused on the offenders' perspectives, psychological models of offending behaviour and how child sex offenders (CSOs) are managed and treated in local communities (for example through Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements). Whilst these studies are extremely important, one area that has suffered from a lack of research and visible debate is how victims, their families and local communities experience grooming in situ and on a day-to-day basis. Using observational, interview and document data collected from an ethnography of a south-east coast community that houses a number of CSOs, this article examines the strategies used by strangers and acquaintances when grooming the local environment, significant others and children. Importantly, these grooming experiences are articulated from the perspective of the victims and their families. In doing so, the article discusses the implications that these experiences have for understanding offender–victim behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-42
JournalJournal of Sexual Aggression
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date9 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • grooming
  • child abuse
  • sexual offending
  • grooming typologies
  • ethnography

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