“Falling Through the Cracks”: A Retrospective Exploration of the Barriers to Help-Seeking Among Men Convicted of Sexual Crimes

Journal article


Swaby, H. and Rebecca Lievesley 2022. “Falling Through the Cracks”: A Retrospective Exploration of the Barriers to Help-Seeking Among Men Convicted of Sexual Crimes. Sexual Abuse. pp. 1-48. https://doi.org/10.1177/10790632221146501
AuthorsSwaby, H. and Rebecca Lievesley
Abstract

<jats:p> The prevalence and impact of sexual abuse is of global concern, and the alarming rates of victimization have inspired a focus on its prevention. Whilst research has begun to explore the experiences of non-offending individuals to inform prevention initiatives, there is limited exploration of those who have struggled with their sexual interests and go on to commit sexual crime. Arguably these individuals hold key information about gaps in service provision, which may inform approaches to crime prevention. This study aimed to provide a phenomenological exploration of the pre-offense experiences of convicted individuals’ beliefs about help-seeking, their desires for support, and any barriers that might have prevented them from coming forward for help. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 individuals convicted of sexual offenses ( n = 13 against children; n = 1 sexually motivated violence), and interpretative phenomenological analysis elicited three superordinate themes: Desperation, Barriers to Help-seeking and A Way Forward. The findings shed light on the distressing experience of living with sexual interests that are so openly rejected by society and the many ways participants attempted to cope with this, including multiple failed attempts to seek help. Implications and limitations are discussed. </jats:p>

Keywordssexual abuse; victimization; prevention initiatives
Year2022
JournalSexual Abuse
Journal citationpp. 1-48
PublisherSage
ISSN1079-0632
1573-286X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/10790632221146501
Web address (URL)https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/47377/
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/10790632221146501
Output statusPublished
Publication dates20 Dec 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Mar 2023
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