The Impact Of Female Sexual Offending On Victims Social Work Essay

Chapter 5:

Having explored how the media portrays FCSOs and how professionals respond to them, the accent is now on the impact on victims, get downing with the psychological effects of maltreatment. In recent old ages, much research attending has been paid to the impact sexual maltreatment has on victims. Many issues have been found, for illustration psychological and physical effects, eating upsets and substance abuse. However, the bulk of research has focused on kid sexual maltreatment committed by males, with really small accent placed on the effects of female-perpetrated sexual maltreatment ( Denov, 2004b ) .

Due to the rareness of female sexual maltreatment happenings, it is hard to judge the effects these instances have on victims, as there is a deficiency of consciousness by and large of issues environing female sexual offending. However, we can larn from the limited sum of research available. First, it has been found that despite common misconceptions, FCSOs can hold earnestly detrimental effects on their victims, arguably even more so than male-perpetrated maltreatment ( Gannon & A ; Cortoni, 2010 ) . It may be that the nature of maltreatment committed by females is non every bit aggressive as that committed by males, but this does non intend it is merely every bit harmful in other ways. These offenses can go forth victims with feelings of shame, guilt and confusion, as sexual maltreatment of a kid is a complete treachery of trust, usually within household relationships ( ibid ) . This is even more so when the culprit is a adult females, due to the lovingness function she is supposed to keep in such a relationship. Elliott ( 1994 ) argues that victims of female sexual maltreatment are frequently left with highly baffled feelings of love and hatred towards their maltreater, particularly when they are related. The victims in her survey could non understand how a female parent is able to do such injury:

“ There is something about a female parent. When you ‘re little, she should be the first individual you go to if you ‘re hurt, the first individual to snuggle, who gives you love and attention. So when she abuses you, it leads to an even greater sense of desperation than when your male parent does it. In my dreams, I castrate my male parent and suffocate him. But I ca n’t assail my female parent. I ‘m lacerate between love and hatred ” Elliott ( 1994: 10 ) .

This victim ‘s history reveals merely how complex kid maltreatment can be for kids, and explains why victims struggle to cover with the maltreatment they have experienced. Although there are analogues between victims of male and female-perpetrated maltreatment, this victim has highlighted powerful differentiations between them, showing how easy it is to detest the male culprit but how confusing it is to keep such negative feelings towards the female culprit. Arguably, some victims of female-perpetrated sexual offenses find it easier to presume that the maltreatment is a consequence of their ain mistakes, instead than admiting that their maltreater might deliberately desire to bring down injury on them ( Munro, 2000 ) . However, this may besides be apparent in victims of male-perpetrated maltreatment, demoing yet another analogue. Despite these analogues, female sexual offending appears to be more complex and has a more distressing impact on its victims than male-perpetrated maltreatment, possibly due to the tabu environing it.

Victims may look for specific ways to assist them get by with their assorted feelings, as they do non ever have professional support. As with male-abuse victims, Denov ( 2004b ) revealed that a figure of victims of female-perpetrated maltreatment besides turn to alcohol and substance abuse in order to submerse the hurting and confusion they feel. She besides found that victims showed cases of depression and troubles in sexual contact with spouses subsequently in life. This shows how complex the wake of child sexual maltreatment can be. The statements of Denov ( ibid ) and Elliott ( 1994 ) , were supported by Dube et Al. ( 2005 ) , who agreed that victims present a assortment of symptoms following maltreatment. They suggested that symptoms may frequently happen at peculiar phases in a victim ‘s life: In the early old ages, victims may demo marks of self-blame, are ashamed of their organic structures and scared to unwrap their maltreatment. In adolescence, they may fall back to substance abuse, eating upsets and delinquency, which could arguably submerse their feelings and give them command over something in their life. As grownups, victims can see troubles in interpersonal relationships, and are frequently afraid of touching their ain kids.

It is apparent from the research surveies above and the issues raised in Chapters 3 and 4 that society has a confused apprehension over the evil vs. soft statement refering FCSOs. Consequently, if members of the populace are this baffled, it is non surprising that victims themselves experience even more at odds feelings, and resort to other ways of taking control over their lives, and happening the agencies to cover with the hurting they have experienced. By analyzing all the aforesaid surveies, it is clear that FCSOs inflict awful effects on their victims, which are opposed to the media exposure of the subject, and, more significantly, the official response to it.

Disclosure issues

Although over recent old ages we have seen an addition in the prison population of FCSOs, they still make up a bantam per centum ( 0.78 % ) of overall sexual wrongdoers ( 10,346 ) ( MoJ, 2012 ) . This does non intend that female-perpetrated maltreatment does non happen more frequently than reported. It may be that victims are loath to unwrap their maltreatment. There are many issues confronting victims of both male and female-perpetrated maltreatment when it comes to unwraping it. Furthermore, the fact that these female-perpetrated offenses are so under-reported agencies that many victims may non gain they have been subjected to signifiers of sexual maltreatment. As discussed in Chapter 1, maltreatment by females can happen in elusive ways. This creates jobs for professionals in being able to turn out that maltreatment has occurred, and adds to the confusion of victims as to whether they were really abused or non. A figure of victims in Rosencranz ‘s ( 1997 ) survey revealed how incidents of maltreatment happened in ways to do them look inadvertent, or a normal portion of a childcare function, for illustration being watched while bathing and dressing, even when the kid was old plenty to take attention of itself. This statement was supported by a later survey, which included victims ‘ studies on sing maltreatment in the signifier of vaginal scrutinies, and being forced to rinse and bath their culprit ( Denov, 2004a ) – Acts of the Apostless which could be interpreted as portion of normal care-giving. Depending on how good their culprits disguise the maltreatment, these experiences may do victims naively think that what they are sing is non abuse, and adds to the job of many offenses non being disclosed. However, this theory does non explicate the deficiency of revelation from victims who experience more physically forceful maltreatment.

Another issue associating to revelation is the trouble victims may hold in happening an chance to unwrap their maltreatment. The bulk of maltreatment instances merely come to visible radiation when the victim is given a suited chance to speak and a connexion has been recognised as to what the victims are speaking about ( Jensen et al. , 2005 ) . In footings of female-perpetrated maltreatment it seems to be even harder for victims to unwrap. They are frequently the exclusive care-giver, so are likely to be present when a kid is in the company of person he or she could unwrap the maltreatment to, for illustration a physician ( Elliott, 1994 ) . However, this focuses chiefly on maltreatment committed by the primary care-giver, and is rejected by Aylward et Al. ( 2002, cited in Ford, 2006 ) . They suggested that although the bulk of research focal points on maltreatment by females known to the victim, they found that in world there were much lower rates ( 38 % ) of sexual maltreatment by relations. The bulk of piquing in their survey was committed by person known to the victim, but non a comparative. Thus the relationship between the victim and the maltreater can non be the exclusive barrier to revelation. Other accounts need to be considered.

Elliott ( 1994 ) provides grounds which could deter victims from unwraping maltreatment. First, kids are disinclined to describe their female parents or other household members if they are the primary care-giver, back uping the statement antecedently made sing victims holding baffled feelings of love and hatred towards their culprit. Second, male stripling victims frequently feel excessively humiliated to acknowledge the maltreatment, particularly if they, themselves, experienced rousing during the maltreatment, so alternatively remain in denial. This feeling among victims was besides apparent in Denov ‘s ( 2003 ) survey, which found that although they expressed overall fright and disgust towards their maltreater, some besides experient physical pleasance during the maltreatment, and accordingly struggled to grok these assorted feelings. This is besides linked to the statement of maleness in which male victims may non unwrap their maltreatment as they feel that they should hold been able to protect themselves. Unwraping it would label them as a victim, which is in direct struggle with their maleness ( Graham, 2006 ) . Finally, Elliott ( 1994 ) recognised that victims may fear that if they pluck up the bravery to unwrap, professionals will non believe them. This is supported by her survey of 127 subsisters of child sexual maltreatment, which revealed that 86 % were non believed when they disclosed that their culprit was female. However, it is of import to observe that recognition and consciousness of FCSOs among professionals has increased in recent times, hence, Elliott ‘s survey may non be representative of victims ‘ histories today. Furthermore, a more up-to-date survey, back uping Elliott ‘s findings was conducted by Craissati et Al. ( 2002 ) , who found that most of the victims they interviewed felt unable to uncover their experiences, as they thought they would non be believed by professionals. Therefore, despite the increasing consciousness of FCSOs among professionals, it appears that there still is non plenty being done to assist victims experience they can unwrap their maltreatment.

Impact on victims of professionals ‘ responses

As already identified in Chapter 4, assorted jobs can originate for victims of female-perpetrated sexual maltreatment, particularly with respects to unwraping it to condemnable justness professionals, and how they may react to the revelation. Whether this was a negative or positive experience for victims, it can impact the manner they are able to retrieve and mend from their maltreatment. One of the most prevailing surveies into the consequence professional responses may hold on victims was by Denov ( 2003 ) . She conducted a survey into victims ‘ experiences of describing their sexual maltreatment and the impact of the different ways they were dealt with. 93 % of victims disclosed their maltreatment between 1989 and 1998. It is of import to observe that during this clip frame, it appears that society held strong cultural consciousness of issues of child sexual maltreatment, which caused general terror among both the populace and professionals likewise ( ibid ) . That said, there was small consciousness of female-perpetrated maltreatment, the bulk of terror environing male sexual wrongdoers.

Negative experiences of engagement with professionals

Denov ‘s findings revealed how many victims had experienced negative brushs with professionals. She found that participants expressed misgiving and treachery, as they felt that they were non listened to when seeking to unwrap their maltreatment. This resulted in feeling they could no longer rely on professionals for aid or support. When looking at these consequences, it is easy to presume that the professionals referred to were in the constabulary service, as they deal with reported offenses. However, some of the victims ‘ histories included reactions from their psychologists, such as understating the earnestness of the maltreatment they experienced:

“ The message that I got from the psychologist was there ‘s no job and that I should see myself lucky that I had sexual contact with a adult females at such a immature age ( 6 ) . ” … “ For the undermentioned 4-5 old ages, I tried to convert myself that I did n’t hold a job ” ( Denov, 2003: 57 ) .

The sentiments expressed by this peculiar professional mirrors the statement put frontward in Chapter 1 with respects to maltreaters of striplings, in that these wrongdoers do non comprehend their maltreatment to be condemnable. Alternatively, they see it as a relationship in which they can sexually educate their victims. This creates some confusion, as the victim above was excessively immature to be regarded as an stripling victim, and it is hard to grok how a professional, trained to cover with child sexual maltreatment victims, could respond in such an dismaying manner. This demonstrates challenges faced by victims in coming to footings with female-perpetrated maltreatment and unwraping it to experts who fail to admit its being. It is besides apparent from the quotation mark above, that the negative reaction made the victim inquiry their opprobrious experience, potentially taking to denial that it even occurred. This issue of denial besides appeared in Peter ‘s ( 2006 ) survey, which explored the job of sexually opprobrious female parents as either mad, bad, or a victim themselves. One of the victim ‘s histories explained how she had given up seeking to understand the maltreatment she experienced by her female parent, because she felt that she could non do sense of something that society itself does non even acknowledge. This led to her being in complete denial that the mistreatment she experienced was really a signifier of condemnable maltreatment. It is apparent that unaccommodating professionals, who show marks of incredulity, appear to worsen the negative experiences a victim has already been capable to, finally taking to secondary victimization.

Positive experiences of engagement with professionals

Although it has been shown that many victims of female sexual maltreatment have encountered negative experiences when covering with professionals, there is much grounds to propose that positive experiences besides occur. Again, in Denov ‘s ( 2003 ) survey, it was apparent from the victims ‘ histories that some professionals were supportive and treated the allegations made in a serious mode. These victims no longer felt afraid and entirely but had an overpowering sense of alleviation and reassurance. Professional responses had an of import impact on their overall wellbeing. One victim described how:

“ to experience so foul and alone [ before unwraping ] , and so to be reassured by [ a professional ] ” … ” to be told ‘it ‘s non your mistake ‘ was reeling. ” ( ibid: 56 ) .

This proves merely how much of a positive impact professionals can hold on victims if they act suitably and therefore helps with their healing procedure. Even if a instance does non travel through the CJS, the fact that professionals acknowledge that female-perpetrated maltreatment can happen may go forth victims with a sense of reassurance in order to travel frontward with their lives.

Despite utilizing a comparatively little sample ( 14 victims ) , Denov ‘s findings have been sufficient in uncovering how professional responses to revelations, either positively or negatively, appear to hold a critical impact on public assistance of victims. Therefore, it is of import for policy-makers to admit this, learn from it, and set in the necessary steps in order to guarantee that condemnable justness professionals act in an appropriate mode when victims unwrap maltreatment. As a consequence, they should hold a positive impact on victims, and be able to help in the healing procedure.

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