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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Simon Hackett

Hackett, S., Balfe, M., Masson, H. & Phillips, J. (2014). Family responses to young people who have sexually abused: anger, ambivalence and acceptance. Children and Society 28(2): 128-139.

Author(s) from Durham


Data on 117 British young people who had sexually abused others were examined in order to investigate the nature and impact of family responses on the management of young sexual abusers. Parental responses were varied, ranging from being entirely supportive of the child, through to ambivalence and uncertainty and, at the other end of the continuum, to outright rejection. Parents were more likely to be supportive when their child's victims were extra-familial and condemnatory when the victims were intra-familial. Sibling responses were complex and strongly influenced by whether that sibling was the victim of the young person's abuse or not. Policy and practice implications are discussed.