“Falling through the cracks”: a retrospective exploration of the barriers to help-seeking among men convicted of sexual crimes

Swaby, H. ORCID: 0000-0002-6292-2110 and Lievesley, R. ORCID: 0000-0003-4957-258X, 2022. “Falling through the cracks”: a retrospective exploration of the barriers to help-seeking among men convicted of sexual crimes. Sexual Abuse. ISSN 1079-0632

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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.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Sexual Abuse
Creators: Swaby, H. and Lievesley, R.
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Date: 20 December 2022
ISSN: 1079-0632
Rights: Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 11 Nov 2022 10:39
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2023 10:59
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/47377

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