Brief report: The sexual and physical abuse histories of offenders with intellectual disability


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Abstract

BackgroundSome studies have found higher rates of childhood sexual abuse in sex offenders while others have failed to find such relationships.MethodThis study reviews the sexual and physical abuse histories of 156 male sex offenders with intellectual disability (ID), 126 non-sexual male offenders with ID and 27 female offenders with ID.ResultsSexual offenders reported a higher rate of sexual abuse in childhood than non-sexual male offenders (32.6% vs. 17.8%), while the opposite was true for non-accidental injury (16.0% vs. 32.5%). Female offenders reported the highest rates of sexual abuse in childhood (59.3%).ConclusionsSome specificity of childhood abuse was evident in the male cohorts suggesting limited evidence of a developmental pathway to offending, while the women were a group highly vulnerable to all forms of abuse.

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