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Female paedophilia vastly underreported - up to 64,000 female paedophiles in the UK

(84 Posts)
SomeGuy Mon 05-Oct-09 14:40:04

www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/oct/04/uk-female-child-sex-offenders

'Child sex abuse by women is significantly more widespread than previously realised, with experts estimating that there could be up to 64,000 female offenders in Britain.

Researchers from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF), a child protection charity that deals with British female sex offenders, said its studies confirmed that a "fair proportion" of child abusers were women. Donald Findlater, director of research and development, said results indicated that up to 20% of a conservative estimate of 320,000 suspected UK paedophiles were women.

Findlater said: "There was some suggestion it was only blokes that sexually abused children. Over time those arguments have fallen aside and people have had to wake up to the fact that actually, sadly, there is a fair proportion of women abusing as well."

Steve Lowe, director of Phoenix Forensic Consultants, which treats and assesses child sex abusers, said the true number of female paedophiles has remained hidden for too long.

"As a society, we find women sex offenders difficult to acknowledge. But those of us who work with paedophiles have seen evidence that women are capable of terrible crimes against children ? just as bad as men." He said some female abusers remained hidden because they appeared before the family courts, where their cases were not publicised because of reporting restrictions.'

To put this in to context, recall policies like that of British Airways, which considers all men to be paedophiles, and bans children from sitting next to male strangers.

SomeGuy Mon 05-Oct-09 14:43:18

There are of course numerous other manifestations of the 'all men are paedophiles' paranoia - people are wary of male babysitters, nannies, primary school teachers, etc, whereas they would not think twice about a woman in the same position. Primary school teaching is now almost exclusively female.

Callisto Mon 05-Oct-09 16:28:48

Yet another reason to open the family courts. However, it is all 'estimated' isn't it? Up to 20% of paedophiles could be women? That is a meaningless statistic.

Ladyatron Mon 05-Oct-09 16:30:54

yes they are more common than you would think but a lot of them are following a mans instructions.

nannynick Mon 05-Oct-09 16:49:10

Michelle Elliott has been telling people that Women Abuse as well as men for many years. Extract from her book (PDF) first published in 1993 I think.

The problem is that abuse can go unreported for many years. If the victim considers that they won't be believed the abuse may go completely unreported. To me it looks as though once it became more acceptable to report abuse by men, the reporting increased. Now that abuse by women is in the news, it may become more acceptable for abuse my women to be reported, which will then result in the statistics percentages changing. Statistics are based on reported cases, very hard to tell how many cases go unreported.

TwoIfByScream Mon 05-Oct-09 19:18:57

Oh my god, really? I think this horrible case has opened many people's eyes.

TheShriekingHarpy Mon 05-Oct-09 19:58:28

Message withdrawn

wahwah Mon 05-Oct-09 20:25:47

We've always known in child protection work that women can sexually abuse children (although not to the same degree as men). I dispute that 'opening up the family courts' would make a great deal of difference, these women should be tried in a criminal court for their crimes.

HerBeatitude Mon 05-Oct-09 21:18:08

I hope this latest hysteria isn't going to lead to the police and SS concentrating resources disproportionately on potential abuse by women. Just as in DV cases, where there is now massive awareness of female on male DV and the number of prosecutions and convictions of female perpetrators has sky-rocketed while male perpetrators merrily continue to beat up women unimpeded by the criminal justice system, the overwhelming majority of abuse is still done by men.

I've no doubt that abuse by women is under-reported, but we've known since Myra Hindley, that women abuse children. It's one of the reasons she was so hated - she shattered the comfortable illusion people had, that they could always safely tell their kids to trust a woman to help them if they were lost and / or in trouble. But one Myra Hindley doesn't alter the fact that most murder is done by men and one mad nursery worker doesn't alter the fact that most paedophiles are men. Even if you take their statistics at face value and give them the benefit of the doubt, that means 75-80% of abuse "may be" done by men. Still comfortably outnumbering women then. I'm not sure this is news tbh, haven't we always known that a minority of child abusers were women? (Have just remembered Rose West as well)

QOD Mon 05-Oct-09 21:30:53

my friends late sister, was a probabtion officer in the town where I work, she said MOST of her sex offenders were women. They had a fairly high propoprtion of 35 yr old woman 15yr old boy kind of thing, but a LOT of abusers and abetters.... offering their own children. Dreadful

dittany Mon 05-Oct-09 21:33:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SomeGuy Mon 05-Oct-09 21:47:34

> the number of prosecutions and convictions of female perpetrators has sky-rocketed while male perpetrators merrily continue to beat up women unimpeded by the criminal justice system

"The number of women convicted of domestic violence is up 268 per cent in five years, from 806 in 2004-5 to 2,968 in 2008-9.
Convictions of men were up 144 per cent, from 18,659 to 45,484. "

A 144% increase is massive by anyones standards.

I don't understand why you are upset about more abusive women being convicted.

Men are more likely to be prosecuted for domestic violence, and more likely to be convicted as well. 15 times more men are prosecuted than women, and the conviction rate of male abusers (which has risen sharply, from 55.3% in 2004-05 to 72.4% in 2008-09) is higher as well (69.6% of female DV prosecutions resulted in conviction).

The idea that there is a hysteria about female-on-male DV cases is plainly ludicrous.

SolidGhoulBrass Mon 05-Oct-09 21:51:52

And I would wonder what percentage of that 64000 would be made up of, say, 18 year old girls with 15 year old boyfriends in a mutually consenting relationship.

SomeGuy Mon 05-Oct-09 22:22:14

Operation Ore shouldn't be cited for anything other than 'hysteria about paedophiles' or 'police incompetence'.

The British police received a list of British residents who had paid to access Landslide-protected site. This was a payment gateway operated by its laissez-faire owner, who took payment on behalf of over 100 pornographic websites. The content on these websites ranged from anything from 'horny housewives' (or whatever) to illegal child pornography.

The British police did not attempt to discover whether subscribers had used the gateway to access a child porn site, or merely for perfectly legal adult pornography. They simply went after everybody.

Credit card fraud rates are notoriously high online, worse for online pornography, and presumably worst for child pornography, given that it's illegal. The police did not check whether the cards had been refused fraudulently, but treated everyone as guilty, including leaking and exposing names of innocent people to the media.

The result of this criminally incompetent investigation was at least 39 suicides and damage to numerous people's careers and reputations.

This continues to this day, example:

"I was subject to an Operation Ore investigation in 2004 and no charges were made whatsoever.
When my embittered ex ( I left her because of an affair she had) found out she went to Social services saying that I had abused her baby. In the additional discretionary information of my enhanced CRB of 2007 it states that I was investigated. Social services have put 2 and 2 together and have made an order that I cannot have unsupervised access to my new born baby to my partner that has also separated in a panic because of the accusations of my ex and the Social Services order. Social Services are saying that I need to undergo a core assessment to determine my safety. Also my employer sacked me immediately on seeing my enhanced CRB simply on the grounds that I was investigated regardless of the fact that no charges were made.

How do I go about restoring my reputation, my livelihood and contact with my new born?"

www.justanswer.com/questions/2hzer-subject-operation-ore

SomeGuy Mon 05-Oct-09 22:23:05

typo, sorry: "had been used fraudulently"

Pumpkinbummum Mon 05-Oct-09 22:24:35

Yes this was on the news the other night, they said 25% of abuse was a female, very sickening thought sad

HerBeatitude Mon 05-Oct-09 22:38:12

I am not “so upset” that female perpetrators are being convicted of DV, I’m commenting that on the whole, they are disproportionately more likely to be prosecuted and convicted, than male perpetrators. I won’t patronise you by suggesting that you are so upset that I’m pointing out the bleedin’ obvious – that men are still far more likely to abuse children (and women) than women are (to abuse children or men, or other women for that matter).

144% is a massive rise, but it’s not nearly as massive as 268% is it? It’s from an incredibly low base and in the context of years and years of knowing about it, acknowledging it and simply accepting it as part of life and not something the Criminal Justice System was overly concerned with. Almost as soon as it became known that men can also be victims of domestic abuse, the police and courts pulled their fingers out and treated it as a serious, unacceptable crime (rightly so) unlike the way they treat DV where a woman is the victim, in spite of decades of awareness. Given that men are so much more likely to be perpetrators and women are so much more likely to be victims, (hence your correct assertion that “men are more likely to be prosecuted for domestic violence, and more likely to be convicted as well” of course they are, they’re more likely to do it), I think that it is to do with the heightened awareness of female perpetrators versus the continued acceptance of male perpetration. I don’t think that’s particularly way out.

Cometrickortreatingwithme Mon 05-Oct-09 22:42:16

A girl I worked with was abused by her Mum for many years from about the age of 3..

Snorbs Mon 05-Oct-09 23:00:45

HerBeatitude, how do your claims of "male perpetrators merrily continue to beat up women unimpeded by the criminal justice system" and there being a "continued acceptance of male perpetration [of domestic violence]" square with a 2008-9 conviction rate of 45,484 men for DV?

Getting back to the OP; I hope this case doesn't end up with the same hysteria about female sexual abusers as there often is for men. The paranoia about potential sex abusers around every corner and under every bed is far enough out of hand as it is.

I didn't know about BA's policy regarding men and unaccompanied children on flights, though shock. FFS.

SomeGuy Mon 05-Oct-09 23:01:36

> 144% is a massive rise, but it’s not nearly as massive as 268% is it? It’s from an incredibly low base and in the context of years and years of knowing about it, acknowledging it and simply accepting it as part of life and not something the Criminal Justice System was overly concerned with.

806, the number of female convictions, is a low base.

18,659, the number of male convictions, is a signficant number of people.

In terms of resources expended (police time, CPS time, etc.), going from 800 to 3000 is not significant at all, it's still a tiny number.

OTOH, the 27,000 extra men convicted represents a large amount of extra effort and resources. Domestic violence against women might not always have been taken seriously, but it has certainly been on the agenda far longer than that against men (and it's still regarded as a joke in a way that violence against women isn't).

> Almost as soon as it became known that men can also be victims of domestic abuse, the police and courts pulled their fingers out and treated it as a serious, unacceptable crime (rightly so) unlike the way they treat DV where a woman is the victim, in spite of decades of awareness.
> hence your correct assertion that “men are more likely to be prosecuted for domestic violence, and more likely to be convicted as well” of course they are, they’re more likely to do it

The figures I quoted were conviction rates as a percentage of those charged. Yes, there are fewer female abusers, but those that are charged are significantly less likely to be convicted than men.

Equally, of those men that commit DV, far more will be charged as a percentage than that of women committing DV.

Estimates for the number of women committing DV as compared with men vary, but the 15 to 1 ratio of male convictions to female is higher than all of them.

dittany Tue 06-Oct-09 08:33:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HerBeatitude Tue 06-Oct-09 08:45:46

Because the convictions are dwarfed by the incidents, Snorbs. Half a million phone calls a year versus fewer than 50,000 convictions. And that’s not counting where phone calls aren’t made.

Some statistics here. the fact sheets are quite informative

Where are your figures from Someguy? Not sure what point you’re making, of course the resources should be targeted at the main source of the problem, but my point is that where “new” focus areas become recognised, the main, bread and butter source of the problem shouldn’t be neglected and we know how prone some public services are to fashions. You’ve focussed on the criminal justice system, but Social Services are just as important in this context and they are not subject to the criminal justice system, they use the family courts and we all know the problems with them.

I’m not sure I agree with this: “Equally, of those men that commit DV, far more will be charged as a percentage than that of women committing DV”. Figures are always a bit of a morass around this area because of definitions, collection methods etc., but it’s generally accepted that a woman will undergo something like 32 or 34 (can’t remember the exact figure) DV incidents before she even phones the police, so the idea that men are more likely to be charged, is just wrong. If the calls aren’t made, the man can’t be charged. Not sure if there are any reputable figures out there for male victims of DV, but I have seen something on that woman’s aid site about how women are far more likely to be the victim of several instances of DV, whereas men tend to report sooner.

But yes I agree with you that the likelihood is that this story will merely succeed in convincing some hysterical people that women are as likely to be paedohphiles as men, all men are, most women are, so we’d better keep our children away from any adult who isn’t CRB checked and never let them out anywhere anytime. Playstation manufacturers will have a field day.

And now I'm off to do some work, I'm not ignoring you if you reply but I have to earn my living. grin

TheShriekingHarpy Tue 06-Oct-09 10:55:52

Message withdrawn

HerBeatitude Tue 06-Oct-09 11:48:33

Wouldn't disagree with that harpy.

Monkeytrews Tue 06-Oct-09 12:12:14

lol

What's a 'fair proportion'?

The fact remains most paefophiles are male. That's why there is a "paranoia" about male babysitters, etc. Its always been there becasue it increases your evolutionary fittness by keeping your kids alive enough till they reproduce. It's not a culturally determined pheonomenon, its a pan cultural pan species one.

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