Juveniles commit a significant portion of the sex offenses that occur in the United States each year. They account for up to one-fifth of rapes and one-half of all cases of child molestation committed annually. In a 2000 study, data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that 23 percent of sexual assault offenders were under the age of 18. Boys ages 13 to 17 perpetrate most of the sexual crimes committed by juveniles, but recent studies have shown that girls under age 18 and children under age 13 have also committed sexual offenses. Across the country, police officials partnering with other stakeholders have implemented successful programs to manage offenders and prevent future sexual offending by juveniles. This brief describes trends observed in the field and the strategies employed by two law enforcement agencies to manage juvenile sex offenders in their communities. Juvenile Sex Offenders: Managing and Preventing Future Offenses
The majority of teens have been involved in a romantic relationship. The following brief, Telling It Like It Is: Teen Perspectives on Romantic Relationships, summarizes findings from focus groups that explored what teens themselves have to say about these relationships. Among the findings:- Teens view respect, trust, and love as essential to healthy relationships.- Teens have a clear understanding and expectation of what defines a healthy romantic relationship.- Teens' relationships typically fall short of their own standards of healthy romantic relationships.- Infidelity, relationship violence, and few role models contribute to teens' low expectations for healthy relationships. Telling It Like It Is: Teen Perspectives on Romantic Relationships
This brief outlines the most promising local prevention strategies and policy changes to prevent child sexual abuse from happening in the first place. The recommendations are designed to shift social and cultural norms that increase the likelihood of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
Sample recommendations include:
Decrease the saturation of media messages aimed at children by reviewing and rolling back the legislation that allowed advertising to children especially in children’s television programming.
Develop a rapid response media network to respond to breaking news with proactive prevention messages that incorporate an environmental and norms-based understanding of the causes and solutions of abuse.
Require staff training in organizations that work with children and youth specifically focused on developmentally appropriate sexuality and sexual behavior.
With support from the Ms. Foundation, this brief is based on findings from a convening of national experts and local leaders, expert interviews, and a review of the literature.
Sexual Violence Against Women: Impact on High-Risk Health Behaviors and Reproductive Health by Sandra L. Martin and Rebecca J. Macy with contributions from Janice A. Mirabassi (June 2009) This Applied Research paper provides a brief overview of research on the impact of sexual violence on females' high-risk health behaviors and reproductive health, focusing on studies of sexual assault or rape experienced primarily during adulthood. Sexual Violence Against Women: Impact on High-Risk Health Behaviors and Reproductive Health
This issue brief reviews research regarding the involvement of unaccompanied, homeless youth in various types of sexual exploitation including survival sex and recruitment into the commercial sex industry and will recommend a series of programmatic responses to meet their needs. While research indicates that the majority of homeless youth avoid victimization in the commercial sex industry, its harmful impact on long‐term health and wellness scars tens of thousands of youth annually. Current rates of victimization among homeless youth are unacceptable, and its continued existence indicates an urgent need for an increased national investment in outreach, supportive services, and housing.
This paper consolidates knowledge about the damaging interplay between homelessness and sexual violence. It clarifies steps researchers, policy-makers, and service providers can take to intervene with victims and prevent future sexual assaults.
The review examines the existing peer-reviewed scholarly and grey literature from industrialized and developing regions. Over 400 items on sexual assault, including books, journal articles, news articles, research reports, annual reports, discussion papers and monographs were examined. The review outlines the historical and contemporary medico-legal responses to sexual assault victims, broadly describing the professionals, protocols and procedures involved in the collection and processing of medico-legal evidence. Findings are presented from studies that have evaluated the legal impact of such evidence in sexual assault cases, and factors that may create barriers to its successful use in criminal justice proceedings are discussed. The review identifies salient knowledge gaps and offers research recommendations for addressing them. The Uses And Impacts Of Medico-Legal Evidence In Sexual Assault Cases: A Global Review
The Research & Advocacy Digest is a publication of the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. It was originally conceived as a tool to help sexual assault advocates stay informed about new developments and recent research related to the work of sexual assault victim advocacy. This issue focuses on the public health approach to sexual violence. Understanding Sexual Violence Using a Public Health Model
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