Covert communication between sex offenders and their child victims
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Covert communication between sex offenders and their child victims was examined. It was expected that sex offenders would acknowledge covert methods of communicating to their child victims (1) "an intent to molest" and (2) "a warning of silence". Data were gathered in open ended, self report format from a known group of child sexual offenders. Examination of the data revealed that a significant number of the participants acknowledged the utilization of covert methods of communicating to their child victims that they intended to molest them. The data further indicated that while 50% of the participants utilized overt methods of communicating a warning of silence to child victims, covert methods of communication were also used with significant frequency. The importance of the recognition of such covert communication is discussed in terms of protecting the child victim from post-disclosure revictimization; in the courtroom, in supervised or unsupervised visitation, and in reunification of the family.
KeywordsSignificant Frequency Child Victim Covert Communication Child Sexual Offender Covert Method
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