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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Simon Hackett

Hackett, S., Masson, H., Balfe, M. & Phillips, J. (2015). Community reactions to young people who have sexually abused and their families: a Shotgun blast, not a rifle shot. Children and Society 29(4): 243-254.

Author(s) from Durham


Data on 117 young sexual abusers were examined to investigate the nature of community responses to young people's abusive behaviour. A wide range of community responses were found, with stigmatisation, social isolation and collateral damage being common. A contagion effect was noted, with community responses extending over time and across contexts. Some young offenders and their families were attacked and forced out of their homes. In some cases, community responses heightened risk factors. The policy and practice implications of the findings are discussed, including the need for caution about the inclusion of children in policies on community notification of sex offenders.


Article first published online: 14 May 2013