Missing Children Publication Hub
Organization: University of Portsmouth
Published In: 2015
Country: United Kingdom
Victim and Offender in Stranger Child Abduction
(by "Craig Collie & Dr. Karen Shalev-Greene ")
Lessons designed to teach children strategies for resisting stranger child abduction are based on the premise that particular resistance strategies will be effective at dissuading potential offenders. This premise, although grounded in common sense, has not been subject to testing.
This paper compared the expected outcomes of these assumed protective factors against the outcomes of real cases of stranger child abduction where said factors were present, in order to ascertain if their presence in real-world scenarios had a determinative effect on case outcomes.
A series of chi-square and nonlinear tests were carried out to examine the associations between case outcome and various types of victim resistance- including verbal resistance, physical resistance, and running away, and victim accompaniment- including being alone, being with other children, and being with adults.
Findings suggest that, in general, the most effective victim resistance strategies involved saying no and running away, whereas physical resistance could actually increase risk of being abducted and subsequently harmed. This is broadly in line with expected outcomes. However, it was also found that being accompanied by other children was actually more risky than being unaccompanied, which refutes expectations. Recommendations for program modification based on these findings are discussed.
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