Prevention of Sexual Child Abuse: Preliminary Results From an Outpatient Therapy Program
Wild, Tamara S. N. ; Müller, Isabel ; Fromberger, Peter ; Jordan, Kirsten ; Klein, Lenka ; Müller, Jürgen L.
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17426
In Germany, access to outpatient treatment services devoted to the prevention of (further) sexual offenses against minors and child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) offenses is often limited. The therapy project “Prevention of Sexual Abuse” tries to fill this gap by providing treatment to patients with a self-reported sexual interest in children and adolescents, irrespective of whether or not they are pedophilic or prosecuted by the legal justice system. Within the project, a treatment manual was developed which specifically addresses dynamic risk-factors in child sexual abusers andCSEMoffenders. The treatment manualwas conceived to reduce recidivism risk and to contribute to the enhancement of the patients’ personal wellbeing. In this paper, results of the accompanying scientific research are presented: offensesupportive attitudes (N= 23), self-reportedCSEMuse (N= 10), emotional distress (N= 24), and participants’ subjective risk perception of committing (further) sexual offenses (N = 25) reduced during the course of treatment. A reduction of offense-supportive attitudes was further observed from pre-intervention to 1-year follow-up (N = 8). Changes with regard to selfefficacy, quality of life, participants’ self-perceived ability to control sexual impulses toward children and adolescents permanently, and several measures assessing different kinds of sexual recidivism did not, however, reach any level of significance. During an average observation period of 2.4 years, six patients confessed to have conducted new sexual exploitation material offenses, while no further sexual abuse cases were reported (N = 19). Due to the used research design and small sample sizes, treatment effects cannot be inferred and external validity is limited. This notwithstanding, results provide first evidence for a relationship between treatment participation and self-reported recidivism and psychological well-being.
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