Report – An expert report of Peter Mosser for the Informationcentre Child Abuse and Neglect at the German Youth Institute in Munich.
Over the past years, sexual transgressions among children have drawn attention initially in the practical fields of work and finally with some delay also in research. The first and foremost goal is to protect children from sexual transgression by other children because such transgression can harm the affected children seriously which is equivalent to the consequences of sexual abuse committed by juveniles and adults. Secondly, children with sexualized behavior run the risk of becoming transgressors themselves because of their increased vulnerability for dysfunctional interpersonal experience. Thirdly, pronounced sexual abnormalities indicate a general psycho-pathological burden which may further develop through the various developmental phases.
Children who show sexualized behavior can be supported effectively within the framework of temporary treatment programs. In addition, the significance of working with attachment figures is evident and sufficiently empirically validated. However, significant conditioning factors, which are presumed necessary for sexually prominent behavior to develop must be assumed to exist exactly within the systems which must be activated for cooperation. Therefore, successful intervention strategies need suitable cooperation agreements between the various players of child welfare who are aware of this conflict intrinsic to the topic because the previously practical experiences reported in Germany indicate high dropout rates primarily of children below the age of criminal responsibility.
The task of taking into account the specifics of sexually transgressing children compared to adolescent sex offenders presents a great challenge. In this connection, this expertise should make a contribution to incite a qualified debate.