1st Edition

Preventing Sexual Harm Positive Criminology and Sexual Abuse

    164 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    164 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Preventing Sexual Harm provides an overview of current criminal justice strategies for tackling sexual violence, and highlights existing positive criminological approaches that could help prevent sexual abuse and harm.


    Sexual violence is a complex, multi-faceted crime. Its causes and consequences are both multiple and enduring and our understanding of sexual violence is embedded within our social, cultural, and political constructs. As such, a response to sexual violence ought to be equally complex and multi-faceted. Alternative approaches might therefore be needed, such as positive criminology. This book explores positive criminology as a mechanism to reduce the risk of recidivism, eradicate harm, prevent reoffending as well as to help reintegrate those with histories of sexual abuse back into the community. In light of recent historic cases of sexual abuse and poor institutional response to these allegations, it opens with an overview of the current landscape of sexual offending. The book then reviews the current positive criminological approaches already in existence in the effort to prevent sexual abuse by outlining the approach of positive criminology and by demonstrating the many gaps in practice that might benefit from this new way of working to prevent sexual abuse.


    By highlighting that an alternative response to sexual violence is needed, and by presenting the idea that a positive criminological paradigm is worthy of further examination, this book will be of great interest to scholars of criminology, criminal justice, and forensic psychology.

    Preface by Prof. Natti Ronel


    Chapter 1: Definition, causes, and prevalence of sexual abuse

    Chapter 2: Current approaches to sentencing and management

    Chapter 3: Current approaches to the assessment of sexual offending

    Chapter 4: Current approaches to the treatment of sexual offending

    Chapter 5: Prevention strategies of sexual harm

    Chapter 6: Positive criminology as an alternative

    Chapter 7: Current positive criminology applications in terms of assessment

    Chapter 8: Current positive criminology applications in terms of treatment and management

    Chapter 9: Religion, spirituality and positive criminology



    Stephanie Kewley is Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University. Stephanie supports, advocates, and promotes the safe and healthy functioning of marginalised and highly stigmatised populations involved in criminal justice systems.

    Sarah Pemberton is Associate Professor in Criminology at Birmingham City University. Sarah's current research interests include discourse and identity management of those with convictions for sexual offences; teaching sensitive subjects and vicarious trauma; making sense of coercive control; and the media representation of intimate partner homicide.

    Mohammed Rahman is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Birmingham City University. His academic work concerns serious violence – namely organised crime. Mohammed has used his teaching and research experiences to inform the public and international press about crime, harm, and crime control.


    "The only subject that evokes a more extreme reaction than sex in modern society is violence, so it is little wonder that the subject of sexual violence is fraught with hyperbole, myth and misunderstanding. The authors’ ‘positive criminology’ approach is therefore both badly needed and quietly ground-breaking, broadening the lens from one of "risk" and psychological deficits, to a focus on resilience, reparation and protective factors -- a very important new direction for the field."

    Shadd Maruna, author of Making Good: How Ex-Convicts Reform and Rebuild Their Lives

    "While the authors do not make the claim for this text be one that is all-singing and all-dancing, in fact they could have justifiably made such a claim. The chapters cover a broad array of relevant areas, including important standard ones (definitions and prevalence, sentencing, management and risk assessment, prevention strategies) together with more forward-thinking chapters. The positive criminology approach is a welcome guest to the table, and this volume certainly contributes 'new ways of thinking' around sexual abuse, whilst covering the old favourites and standard fare one would expect."

    Belinda Winder Research Director of the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, UK

    "The major goal of positive criminology to equip individuals who have committed crimes with the resources to living more meaningful and less harmful lives. It has its roots in the understanding that all human beings have intrinsic value and that therefore punishment should always be delivered in ways that demonstrate respect, and seek community healing. In this exciting new book, Stephanie Kewley, Mohammed Rahman and Sarah Pemberton apply the key ideas of positive criminology to the area of sexual abuse. In the process they demonstrate admirable scholarship, an appreciation of the complexity of crime prevention and treatment, and an excellent introduction to positive criminology for practitioners and researchers."

    Tony Ward, developer of the Good Lives Model, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand