Child Sexual Abuse: The Search for Healing

By Christopher Bagley; Kathleen King | Go to book overview

Chapter Nine

HEALING OF OFFENDERS

Many a man commits a reprehensible action, who is at bottom an honourable man, because man seldom acts upon natural impulse, but from some secret passion of the moment which lies hidden and concealed within the narrowest folds of his heart.

Napoleon I (1858),

Correspondence and maxims

The sexual abuse of children is a crime, first and foremost. Treatment can and should begin after that recognition and an appropriate legal response has been made.

Sandra Butler (1985),

Conspiracy of silence: the trauma of incest

Treatment of offenders is recognized as one of the most crucial issues in the prevention of child sexual abuse at the individual level. However, this is a very new and experimental field. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to review all of the beginning clinical efforts in this area. Rather, we will attempt to review the types of offenders, theories of aetiology, and their implications for treatment.


TYPES OF OFFENDERS

Early Theories

Early categorizations looked mainly at sexual abuse within the family. While this represents a narrow view, it is consistent with what was first reported in the literature.

Bagley (1969) was one of the earliest authors to offer a categorization of incest offenders. His study of 1,025 cases from a

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