Gallagher, Bernard (2009) Attempted and Completed Incidents of Stranger-Perpetrated Child Sexual Abuse and Abduction. In: 7th Annual BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse) Conference, 13th - 16th September 2009, Swansea, Wales. (Unpublished)
Abstract

Objectives
To establish the prevalence, typology and
nature of incidents involving the attempted, or
completed, sexual abuse and/or abduction of
children by strangers.
Method
A school-based questionnaire survey with
2,420 children (83% response rate) aged 9-
16 years in 26 primary and secondary
schools in North-West England.
Results
Almost 7% of children reported being the
victim of a stranger-perpetrated attempted or
completed sexual abuse or abduction
incident away from home at some point in
their lives. Four main types of incident were
identified: indecent exposure (41%), touching
(26%) and abduction (23%), and incidents
involving multiple types of act (10%).
The majority of these abductions (91%) and
touching incidents (51%) were attempted as
opposed to completed. Rates of victimization
were generally higher among girls than boys
(10% vs. 4%, p < .001). A sizeable minority of
victims had experienced sexual abuse or
abduction previously (29%). The large
majority of incidents were carried out by
males (88%).
Most incidents occurred when children were
accompanied by their peers (68%). Many
victims were frightened by their experience
(47% very frightened) and the large majority
made a disclosure (80%). Only a minority of
incidents were reported to the police (33%).
Conclusion
Incidents of attempted and completed
stranger CSA and abduction are distinct from
CSA and abduction by known persons, go
against stereotypes, are complex, and give
rise to a number of key issues that may have
implications for prevention and intervention.

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