Many crimes are obvious, with those responsible soon caught, but with most sexual assaults (including pedophilia) going unreported or discovered, Griffith University researchers investigated the characteristics of repeat offenders who evade detection for long periods of time. time.
The study used police data and case files to differentiate persistent sex offenders by long or short delayed detection, and compared them on demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, victimization, psychopathic traits, antisocial orientation, atypical sexual interest, and descriptive sexual offense variables.
It found that offenders with longer detection delays had more psychological traits, were more child victims of adulthood, were more often in professional employment and were less likely to engage in other criminal activity than those with shorter detection delays.
Lead author Dr Sam Nichol of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice said the findings could go a long way in reducing child sexual abuse through early identification and prevention. The paper, “Escape from Justice: Characteristics of Men Who Treacherate and Evade Detection for Long Periods,” was published in Journal of Sexual Aggression.
“I have previously worked on sexual offenses in the Police Service and it would have really helped to know the key features of people who abuse so many victims but go undetected, and what allows them to fly under the radar for years or often decades.”
“The common factors we found are psychopathic personality traits like being good at manipulating and deceiving people or being a pathological liar.”
The research showed that offenders who evaded detection for longer periods were in significantly higher skilled jobs than their late detection counterparts (who were generally in lower-level jobs or long-term unemployed) and were more often successful in their careers and even in personal relationships.
“They will put themselves in multiple positions or environments where they can reach children, such as becoming athletic coaches, teachers or other community roles, either where there are no policies or safeguards in place, or they will try to dismantle any protective barriers and make that acceptable,” Dr Nicol said. Things like being in the changing room, gifting kids toys, or giving them a lift home.
“Of course it can be hard to differentiate between those who do really well in the community, but those who position themselves in multiple environments but don’t welcome that protection can raise some alarm bells.”
Although not all cases of child sexual abuse are dramatically underreported, men with long delays in detection tend to have more male victims than those who are caught faster, as the research reinforces the need to involve boys In conversations about sexual assault and ensuring that media prevention campaigns aim. To identify worrisome behaviors by any adult towards any child.
Incorporating these strategies can contribute to early prevention strategies, promoting timely detection of young boys and enabling early intervention, said Dr Nicol.
“These findings have important practical implications for the way in which child sex offenders in the community are assessed, treated and supervised.
“Ultimately, by highlighting the characteristics of these men, the hope is to intervene early, and thus reduce victimization or at least the severity and longevity of their criminality.”
Samuel J. Nichol et al., Evasion of Justice: Characteristics of Men with Many Victims Who Evade Detection for Long Periods, Journal of Sexual Aggression (2022). doi: 10.1080/13552600.2022.2159555
the quoteDodging Justice: Characteristics of Repeat Child Sex Offenders (2023, April 26) Retrieved April 26, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-dodging-justice-characteristics-child-sex.html
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