Sexual Abuse in Institutional Contexts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter adopts a cross-national comparative perspective on institutional child sexual abuse. It seeks first to provide a critical overview of a range of high profile inquiries and official reviews into allegations of institutional child abuse and the dominant transnational themes arising from them. It also seeks to highlight the dynamics of what I have previously termed 'institutional grooming' (McAlinden, 2006) and the features of the organisational environment which both facilitate institutional child sexual abuse and help mask its discovery or disclosure. In so doing, the analysis examines the tension between what others have termed 'preferential' or 'situational' sexual offending – that is whether offenders deliberately set out to gain employment which affords access to children or whether the motivation to sexually offend only emerges after they become ensconced in an institutional environment. Finally, the article concludes by offering some suggestions for combatting institutional grooming and sexual abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSexual Crimes: Transnational Problems and Global Perspectives
EditorsAlisa R. Ackerman, Rich Furman
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherColumbia University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780231539487
ISBN (Print)9780231169493, 9780231169486
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • Institutional Abuse
  • sexual crime
  • inquiries


Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual Abuse in Institutional Contexts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this