Sexual Offending against Children: Assessment and Treatment of Male Abusers

By Tony Morrison; Marcus Erooga et al. | Go to book overview

8

Parent, partner, protector

Conflicting role demands for mothers of sexually abused children

Gerrilyn Smith

Offender work is a crucial part of an overall strategy to protect children. However, it is not uncommon for those sex offenders who do undergo treatment to return to families which have had little or no work undertaken with them. This chapter describes a model recommended for use in the establishment of an appropriate protective framework by concentrating on the prevention of reabuse. It focuses on the issues involved in working with the family, particularly the non-abusing parent. As in most cases identified to date this is a female, the non-abusing parent is assumed here to be the mother. Non-abusing is not synonymous with protective, but is used to mean not having actively participated in the sexual abuse of the children. She may have failed to protect, and she may have known about the abuse. Some key issues presented should be transferable to other sexually abusive situations, for example in families where the offender is a stranger or another child of the family, and where there may be two non-abusing parents.

Whilst reference will be made to issues of race and gender, much of this chapter will be based on experience with white families where the father figure has offended against boys or girls or both. Research regarding the impact of cultural and racial differences on the manifestations, discovery and later consequences of sexual abuse for members of ethnic minority communities is rare, and generalisation across cultural and racial groups should be made with caution (Cross, 1991). Frameworks incorporating culturally sensitive means of child protection are still being developed. When considering use of the various models of assessment and treatment, therefore, workers should assess how applicable they will be across the important variables of race and gender.


SYSTEM RESPONSE

Unfortunately we still work within a child protection system which is

-178-

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Sexual Offending against Children: Assessment and Treatment of Male Abusers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xiii
  • Acknowledgements xvi
  • Introduction xvii
  • Glossary xx
  • 1 - Adult Sex Offenders 1
  • 2 - Context, Constraints and Considerations for Practice 25
  • 3 - Assessment of Sex Offenders 55
  • 4 - Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment of Sex Offenders 80
  • 5 - Groupwork with Men Who Sexually Abuse Children 102
  • 6 - The Management of Sex Offenders in Institutions 129
  • 7 - Adolescent Sexual Abusers 146
  • 8 - Parent, Partner, Protector 178
  • 9 - Where the Professional Meets the Personal 203
  • Conclusion 221
  • Appendix - Appeal Court Guidelines on Sentencing in Cases of Incest 225
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 240
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