The project will generate new knowledge about sexual abuse of children and adolescents, with the main emphasis on technology-facilitated sexual abuse. One important question is how the use of digital technology creates new arenas that facilitate sexual abuse.
The project will generate new knowledge about sexual abuse committed against children, and about both young and adult offenders, with the main emphasis on technology-facilitated sexual abuse. One important general question is how the use of digital technology relating to the internet and new digital communication tools creates new arenas that facilitate sexual abuse.
Technology-facilitated sexual abuse of children and adolescents comprises a broad spectre of actions, from unwanted sharing and dissemination of sexualised images to situations that are classified as rape. In the same landscape, we also find actions such as unsolicited sexual images, unwanted sexual contact via digital media and grooming.
Some actions are clearly examples of sexual abuse, while others can better be categorised as sexual harassment or unwanted sexual events. There are also actions where the victim is not necessarily known, such as downloading, storage and sharing of abuse material. Many of the cases that end up in the judicial system concern precisely such actions.
In this project, on the basis of empirical studies, we will generate knowledge about both severe sexual abuse and actions that are in the grey area between sexual abuse and sexual harassment, and about the offenders, the victims, and the arenas where these incidents take place.
The project consists of three sub-projects. In sub-project 2a, we will generate new knowledge about adults who have committed sexual abuse against children and adolescents, with the emphasis on sexual abuse over the internet or using digital communication tools.
Sub-project 2b will produce knowledge about children and adolescents as sexual offenders targeting children and adolescents online.
Sub-project 2c includes an empirical study of children and adolescents as victims of sexual abuse, with the main emphasis on online abuse.
The three sub-projects are based on several data sources. The sub-project about adult offenders is based on analyses of Norwegian court decisions in the area (including judgments), as well as qualitative interview studies of convicted offenders and informants who work closely with perpetrators of digital sexual abuse.
The sub-project on young offenders will also use court judgments, as well as interviews with the next of kin of children and adolescents with problematic or harmful sexual behaviour (PSB/HSB), a survey of the Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (BUP) treatment of the target group, and interviews with counsellors at Statens Barnehus with experience of digital and non-digital HSB cases.
Finally, the sub-project on young victims will also analyse judicial material, as well as data from questionnaire surveys among young people and qualitative interviews with adolescent victims.
Participants at OsloMet