Anne‐Marie McAlinden

in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583720
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191758263 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology


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This final chapter summarises the main arguments of the book, the key findings from the primary research, and evaluates their implications for preventing child sexual abuse and for current risk-based policy discourses on sex offending against children. Given the inherent limitations of current legal and policy frameworks on grooming, ‘the way forward’ is presented as an enhanced social response, which goes well beyond the current narrow focus on grooming to encompass a broader multi-layered approach to child protection and sex offender management. This would be facilitated by the education and engagement of potential victims, potential abusers, and guardians to reduce opportunities for abuse. In presenting this argument, three final issues are discussed: the usefulness of ‘grooming’ as a concept in understanding sexual offending against children; the theoretical and public policy implications for risks-based approaches; and the societal and policy challenges implicit in implementing a public health approach.

Keywords: grooming; risk-based approaches; strengths-based approaches; policy implications; societal challenges

Chapter.  6268 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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