Scripting Extrafamilial Child Sexual Abuse: A Latent Class Analysis of the Entire Crime-Commission
For several years, studies have produced general scripts of child sexual abuse. These scripts provided an analysis of each individual step of the crime-commission process, neglecting the connection between each of these steps. Objective: The purpose of this study is to use the crime script analysis to explore child sexual abuse as a whole, while considering the interconnectedness between each step involved in the crime-commission process of these offenders. Participants: This study analyzes the
... characteristics of 2264 cases of extrafamilial child abuses recorded by the French police between 1983 and 2018. Methods: The first step of this research uses latent class analysis to explore the relationship between each step of the crime-commission process. This statistical procedure allows for the identification of patterns in a set of data that share behavioral characteristics. In the second step, we used additional variables to test the external validity of our model. Results: Results suggest that there are four different scripts used by child sexual assault offenders related to criminal opportunities, crime preparation, and the crime commission process. Three scripts involved stranger offenders while only one involved acquaintance abusers. Conclusions: The analysis of different scripts shows that the relationship between offenders and victims, as well as the victim's profile in terms of opportunities (i.e., age and routine activities) influenced the decision-making process of child sexual abuse offenders. This new perspective in the crime script analysis of child sexual abuse allows for more tailored prevention measures.