Paper asks 'Would broader life skills education help victims of online sexual exploitation?'

Dr Juliane Kloess has recently published a paper which explores victims’ behaviour and responses in sexually exploitative interactions with offenders.

As part of the study, researchers analysed transcripts of chat logs of sexually exploitative interactions between offenders and victims that took place via Internet communication platforms. These data were analysed in order to develop a better understanding of such interactions from a victim perspective. The researchers specifically examined victims' behaviour and their responses to approaches by offenders, with an attempt to identify their motivation for engaging in these interactions.

The findings highlight that while the majority of young people in the sample appeared to engage in such interactions for reasons of curiosity and sexual exploration/experimentation, others presented with a number of vulnerability factors, and these cases involved serious offences of sexual abuse.

The question arises as to whether a more generic education about life skills (eg, conflict management, refusal techniques and help-seeking), rather than specialised Internet safety training, may be the most effective prevention, given that some victims in the sample successfully used such skills to rebut advances by offenders.

The paper was published in the Journal Psychology, Crime & Law.

Reference
Dr Juliane Kloess, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, published a paper: Kloess, J. A., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E., Beech, A. R. (2017). A descriptive account of victims’ behaviour and responses in sexually exploitative interactions with offenders. Psychology, Crime & Law (IF: 1.01)
Read the paper