Young children victims of sexual assault in an extra-familial context: identifying specific victimization processes using neural network analysis to understand and intervene

Julien Chopin, Sarah Paquette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to produce specific knowledge on the sexual victimization of children under the age of 10 in an extra-familial context. Based on different victimological characteristics, this study aims to identify the specific processes leading to the sexual assault of victims in their early childhood (under 6 years) and childhood (between 6 and 9 years) phases. . This research is based on a sample of 393 victims aged under 10 at the time of the events which took place in France between 1990 and 2018. A neural network analysis was used to identify the different combinations. The results indicate that there are five different processes, only one of which is transversal to all age groups in our sample. These different processes are mainly based on the routine activities of young victims, the type of strategy used to approach young victims, the degree of knowledge between the aggressor and his victim, the place used to commit the aggression and the characteristics of the sexual victimization. The results provide an in-depth understanding of the victimological process involving young victims. They also allow the discussion of preventive strategies and targeted helping relationship programs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevue Internationale de Criminologie et de Police Technique et Scientifique
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

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