Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 595–602 | Cite as

Exploring Risk: Potential Static, Dynamic, Protective and Treatment Factors in the Clinical Histories of Female Sex Offenders

  • Ian A. ElliottEmail author
  • Hilary J. Eldridge
  • Sherry Ashfield
  • Anthony R. Beech
Original Article


Despite nearly a century of knowledge indicating a significant number of women engaging in sexual activities with children, the phenomenon has not yet been fully acknowledged. Recently, however, there has been a marked increase in research in this area. However, due to the relatively small numbers of detections or convictions there remains a lack of data regarding: (1) the specific clinical characteristics of female sex offenders; and (2) how these clinical factors link to re-offending and treatment need. The following study examines potential risk, protective, and treatment factors that are highlighted through the process of clinical intervention, using an adapted version of the Beech and Ward (2004) risk framework. We describe how female sex offenders typically display clinical deficits in the same risk domains as their male counterparts, while noting the ways in which these deficits manifest in this population. In addition, we compare these vulnerability factors in four established types of female sex offender.


Female sexual abuse Risk Treatment Protective factors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian A. Elliott
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Hilary J. Eldridge
    • 1
  • Sherry Ashfield
    • 2
  • Anthony R. Beech
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Birmingham & The Lucy Faithfull FoundationBirminghamUK
  2. 2.The Lucy Faithfull FoundationBirminghamUK
  3. 3.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  4. 4.School of PsychologyUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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