One in every hundred
THE ASSESSMENT OF FEMALES WHO SEXUAL ABUSE.
GARETH MC GIBBON
- Today is 22nd March 1998
Where are we?
- Understanding the base rate is fundamental.
- 1-3% sexual recidivism rate.
- Identify the one in 100 who will re-offend.
- Who is ‘high risk’?
General & violent recidivism factors in males.
- Younger age
- Lifestyle instability
- Rule violations
- Prior criminal history
Sexual recidivism factors
- Prior sexual offences
- Male, stranger and/or unrelated victims.
Static indicators associated with higher general
risk in females
- Prior criminal history.
- Younger age (less than 30 years)?
Potential sexual recidivism indicators.
- Prior non-sexual child abuse offences
- Prior sexual offences
- Solo Offender?
Dynamic Risk Factors
- Dynamic risk factors for women are
- Assessments of risk/need can only be based on common factors among FSO’s that are suggestive of a relationship with offending.
- While FSO’s possess some unique features, they do share some of the same characteristics as males – however these manifest themselves in different ways.
- Denial & minimisations of offending
- Distorted cognitions about sexual offending
& abuse in general.
- Problematic relationship & intimacy deficits
- Use of sex to regulate emotional states or
fulfil intimacy needs.
- Sexual gratification, desire for intimacy or instrumental goals such as revenge or humiliation.
- Anti-social attitudes, associates and substance abuse also considered.
Conducting the Assessment
- Comprehensive psycho-social history examining– dispositional factors, antisocial personality characteristics, historical factors (adverse childhood experiences, prior criminal history); contextual factors (circumstances of offences, social networks); personal life circumstances (relationship and parenting status, educational, work & social functioning) & clinical factors (mental health/substance abuse history)
- Examination of developmental & family history provides clues to the elements that have contributed to the elements that have contributed to the abusive behaviour.
- History helps establish if/how past physical, emotional or sexual victimisation links to her offending via a pattern of coping.
- Helps determine role of sexual relationships the woman’s life, cognitions related to offending, type & extent of problematic relationships & presence/extent of general anti-social characteristics.
- Using risk tools designed for assessing adult male sex offenders grossly overestimates risk in FSO’s.
- State of our current knowledge is weak and conclusions of likely risk factors for FSO’s continue to be
- Only indicator of potential for sexual recidivism is the presence of prior child abuse offences.
- General recidivism is much more likely than sexual recidivism. Select a tool with general validity for
female offenders (LSI-R)
- Comprehensive assessments of risk and need should be undertaken examining those dynamic factors commonly found in both male and female clinical samples.
- Simple transfer of knowledge from male sex offender literature to females not appropriate. Examine the factors from gendered perspective.
- Base rate of sexual recidivism for FSO’s is extremely low.