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'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Anne-Marie McAlinden

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583720
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191758263 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583720.001.0001

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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This book critically examines the official and popular discourses on grooming, predominantly framed within the context of on-line sexual exploitation and abuse committed by strangers, and institutional child abuse committed by those in positions of trust. Set against the broader theoretical framework of risk, security, and governance, this book argues that due to the difficulties of drawing clear boundaries between innocuous and harmful motivations towards children, pre-emptive risk-based criminal law and policy are inherently limited in preventing, targeting, and criminalising ‘grooming’ behaviour prior to the manifestation of actual harm. Through examination of grooming against the complexities of the onset of sexual offending against children and its actual role in this process, the book broadens existing discourses by providing a fuller, more nuanced conceptualisation of grooming, including its role in intra-familial and extra-familial contexts. There is also timely discussion of new and emerging forms of grooming, such as ‘street’ or ‘localised’ grooming, as typified by recent cases in Rochdale and Oldham, and ‘peer-to-peer’ grooming. The book draws on extensive empirical research in the form of over fifty interviews with professionals, working in the fields of sex offender risk assessment, management, or treatment, as well as child protection or victim support in the four jurisdictions of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Keywords: grooming; child sexual abuse; child protection; risk management; institutional abuse; on-line abuse; street grooming; public health approaches

Book.  392 pages. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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Table of Contents

Introduction in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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The Nature and Extent of Sexual Grooming in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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Legislative and Policy Frameworks on Sex Offender Risk Management in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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The Grooming of Children, Families, and Communities in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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‘Institutional Grooming’ and Abuse in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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Legislative and Policy Responses to Grooming in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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The Way Ahead: Prevention and Protection in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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Conclusion in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

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