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Abstract

The issue of child sexual abuse perpetrated by women has received little recognition by researchers and when the subject is addressed it is often dismissed as being a rare event. It is only in the last decade that greater interest has been shown in the area of female-perpetrated sexual abuse of children. This is due to the dramatic increase of research into all types of sexual offending and the decrease in the taboo surrounding victimisation. Current literature in the area has largely looked at the development of typologies and establishing prevalence rates. More recently research has focused on ‘barriers’ to recognising this type of abuse. The purpose of this paper is to identify Irish perspectives on female sexual abusers and how this relates to the current literature. A questionnaire was distributed to health care professionals and volunteer workers in children’s charities. The results indicate that there is confusion about how to manage female sexual abusers and this is similar to other research findings in the area.

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