Keeping our eye on sex, power, relationships, and institutional contexts in preventing institutional child sexual abuse

Book chapter


Higgins, Daryl and Moore, Tim. (2019). Keeping our eye on sex, power, relationships, and institutional contexts in preventing institutional child sexual abuse. In In Bryce, India, Robinson, Yolande and Petherick, Wayne (Ed.). Child abuse and neglect : Forensic issues in evidence, impact and management pp. 45-62 Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-815344-4.00003-9
AuthorsHiggins, Daryl and Moore, Tim
EditorsBryce, India, Robinson, Yolande and Petherick, Wayne
Abstract

In this chapter, we explore the nature and extent of child sexual abuse in institutions drawing, in particular, on the research published by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Taking a situational prevention approach, we consider some of the organisational, contextual, and individual factors (of potential perpetrators and victims) that enable child sexual abuse in institutional settings and provide discussion about what needs to be the focus of prevention activities. Despite the plethora of potential risk factors, we highlight the convergence in creating conditions within which child sexual abuse can occur, flourish, or be excused. In exploring institutional child sexual abuse, we consider the ways that institutional child sexual abuse is similar but different to other forms of child abuse and neglect while stressing the cooccurrence of child maltreatment and interpersonal victimisation experienced by children and young people. Intersections with other prevention paradigms will be considered (including other forms of child maltreatment and peer victimisation, homophobia, bullying, dating, and relationship violence). The chapter will consider the incremental steps that are typically encountered and the typical responses (or the lack of responses) that feed the climate, which, in turn, becomes a driver of future risk. In exploring risk factors and the focus of prevention activities, we focus on what is unique about institutional contexts compared with the more prevalent site of abuse (i.e. the family home) and the implications for both connecting up with other prevention paradigms while not losing the opportunities to respond to its unique nature. The chapter concludes by considering the role of institutional culture in promoting sexual safety as the critical ingredient in child sexual abuse prevention. This moves meaning from focusing on knowledge and skills to environments and cultures that promote positive beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours. This requires a sophisticated understanding of power, self, relationships, and sexuality (including an appreciation of a variety of masculinities, femininities, and sexual identities).

We emphasise the importance of not only recognising individual risk factors but also, more importantly, promoting conditions of safety and enhancing organisational cultures that prevent institutional child sexual abuse and appropriately responding when grooming behaviours and abuse occurs.

Keywordschild sexual abuse prevention; grooming; situational crime prevention; sexual safety; organisational culture; homophobia
Page range45-62
Year2019
Book titleChild abuse and neglect : Forensic issues in evidence, impact and management
PublisherAcademic Press
Place of publicationLondon, United Kingdom
San Diego, CA
Cambridge, MA
Oxford, United Kingdom
ISBN9780128153451
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-815344-4.00003-9
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85082052363
Publisher's version
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All rights reserved
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Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print2019
Online2019
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Jul 2022
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Bromfield, Leah, Arney, Fiona and Higgins, Daryl. (2014). Contemporary issues in child protection intake, referral and family support. In In A. Hayes and D. Higgins (Ed.). Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia pp. 121 - 129 Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Government.
Reform, (r)evolution and lingering Effects: Family policies in Australia
Higgins, Daryl J.. (2014). Reform, (r)evolution and lingering Effects: Family policies in Australia. In In M. Robila (Ed.). Handbook of family policies across the globe pp. 335 - 353 Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6771-7_22
Past adoption practices: Key messages for service delivery responses and current policies
Kenny, Pauline and Higgins, Daryl. (2014). Past adoption practices: Key messages for service delivery responses and current policies. In In A. Hayes and D. Higgins (Ed.). Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia pp. 29 - 38 Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Government.
Multi-type maltreatment and polyvictimisation: A comparison of two research frameworks
Price-Robertson, Rhys, Higgins, Daryl J. and Vassallo, Suzanne. (2013). Multi-type maltreatment and polyvictimisation: A comparison of two research frameworks. Family Matters. 93, pp. 84 - 98.
Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice
Kenny, Pauline, Higgins, Daryl, Sweid, Reem and Soloff, Carol. (2013). Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice. Children and Families Australia. 7(1), pp. 35 - 46.
Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice
Kenny, Pauline, Higgins, Daryl, Sweid, Reem and Soloff, Carol. (2013). Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice. Communities, Children and Families. 7(1), pp. 35 - 46.
Families make all the difference: Helping kids to grow and learn
Baxter, Jennifer, Higgins, Daryl J. and Hayes, Alan. (2012). Families make all the difference: Helping kids to grow and learn. Family Matters. 90, pp. 98 - 105.
Child abuse and neglect in Australia's Northern Territory: The Northern Territory Emergency Response
Higgins, Daryl and Scott, Debbie. (2012). Child abuse and neglect in Australia's Northern Territory: The Northern Territory Emergency Response. In In H. Dubowitz (Ed.). World perspectives on child abuse pp. 69 - 75 International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Contemporary militant extremism: A linguistic approach to scale development
Stankov, Lazar, Higgins, D., Saucier, Gerard and Knezevic, Goran. (2012). Contemporary militant extremism: A linguistic approach to scale development. In In G. J. Boyle, Donald H. Saklofske and G. Matthews (Ed.). Psychological Assessment pp. 41 - 67 SAGE Publications Inc..
Protecting children: Evolving systems
Higgins, Daryl. (2011). Protecting children: Evolving systems. Family Matters.
Unfit mothers... Unjust practices?: Key issues from Australian research on the impact of past adoption practices
Higgins, Daryl J.. (2011). Unfit mothers... Unjust practices?: Key issues from Australian research on the impact of past adoption practices. Family Matters. 87(1), pp. 56 - 67.
Contemporary militant extremism: A linguistic approach to scale development
Stankov, Lazar, Higgins, D., Saucier, G. and Kneszevic, G. (2010). Contemporary militant extremism: A linguistic approach to scale development. Psychological Assessment. 22(2), pp. 246 - 258. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017372