Government Publishes Study On Fantasy Disclosure By Sexual Killers

A study on the background and motivation of people who commit murders with a sexual element, such as rape and other forms of sexual assault, makes for very interesting reading.

Published this morning by the Ministry of Justice, key findings of the study include the relevance of childhood experiences and the need to find ways to allow better detection of sexual killers by establishing ways to get these individuals to talk openly about the fantasy narrative, a key indicator of potential sexual homicides.

The Government website includes this explanation of the study and its relevance:

“Sexual fantasy has been identified as an important characteristic in theories of sexual homicide, while forensic practitioners may seek to determine whether sexual fantasy played a role in a sexual killing. Thus, fantasy can be integral to case formulation and identifying treatment targets as part of rehabilitative efforts to reduce the risk of recidivism.

However, perpetrators of sexual homicides can be reluctant to talk about their fantasies due to concerns that this will raise their level of risk and prevent progression. The current research reports on two studies using the same sample. The aim of the first study was to consider the presence or absence of characteristics of perpetrators of non-serial sexual killing and whether or not there was evidence that the perpetrator had disclosed deviant fantasy. The second study aimed to determine whether or not the disclosure of fantasy could be predicted using factors identified in the first study.

A sample of 100 life sentenced men convicted of homicide who had committed a non-serial sexual killing (those offenders who had killed one or two people) was used to facilitate knowledge of the factors that could indicate whether sexual fantasy needs to be considered to understand a sexual homicide.”

Other interesting stats have also been published today, and you can catch them below:

Question It!

Welcome to what feels distinctly like a wintery July. Our question this week looks at important questions the nation’s child abuse scandal will raise, and what duties and responsibilities the government may have in the wake of whatever findings  may come to light once the independent inquiry completes its work.

Whilst institutional responses to child abuse allegations will once again be under the spotlight, as they have been previously many times in the countless reports written on the subject prior to the Inquiry’s inception, it is likely that other more fundamental questions about social, political and religious culture will also need to be addressed.

In Australia, their own inquiry into child sexual abuse has begun to shed light on how religious movements turned a blind eye to abuse, simply because it is not considered to be abuse in itself. At home, political culture has ensured that sexual abuse of children continues to be down played in various quarters, especially where it might jeapordise high profile officials and government business. 

Our question this week then is just this: can the inquiry make real headway without tackling cultural norms in society at every level or is there another way to untangle the very old and deeply knotted ropes which bind abuse and society on a daily basis?




Volunteer With Maypole Women

This item just popped into our inbox, so we thought we would share it with you. Maypole Women are a charity dedicated to ensuring that women experience a fair and safe separation and divorce. They are currently looking for volunteers:

1) Take part in a Rights of Women Conference
Child arrangements and domestic violence: protecting women and children in the Family Court
ROW is looking for someone to take part in a panel discussion on the relationship between domestic violence and family justice, from a survivors perspective. The conference is on 8 October in London. If you would like to find out more about the event, or what’s involved, contact Emma on 0207 251 6575 or email

2) Maypole trustee
Would you like to support other women going through separation and the family courts? Would you like a greater say in campaigning for safe and fair family law?

Maypole is recruiting new trustees to help run the charity. Trustees are volunteers that oversee and direct the charity’s activities. This includes providing information, support and campaigning. As a trustee, you can also bring your own ideas to shape the charity’s future.

If you have time, energy, and commitment, please get in touch. Specific skills that would be useful include communications, training, support and finances, but this is not an exhaustive list.

Trustee meetings take place a minimum of 4 times a year, which can be by phone, online chat or Skype.

More about being a trustee
Read more about what’s involved in being a trustee here.

How to apply
To apply, please send a short CV (1 page will be fine) and a covering letter/ e mail (300 words max) to

In your letter, please explain why you want to be involved with Maypole, and any ideas you have for making the family law system safer and fairer for women and children.

In your CV please list any relevant skills you have, and provide 2 references if you can, and a phone number (land line if possible).

The closing date for applications is 22nd August 2015. Applications after that will be considered by the new trustees.

All suitable applicants will be asked to take part in an interview

If you have any questions, or difficulties in applying, please contact Maypole.

More volunteering opportunities
If neither of these volunteering opportunities suit you, but you’d still like to volunteer with Maypole, watch out for volunteering roles once new trustees are recruited. Or you can get in touch with your ideas and skills.

Voice Of The Child Conference

The latest Voice of the Child Conference took place recently, and as it’s the only conference around that focuses on children, we are advocates of this event and hope it can only highlight the issues surrounding the better treatment of children within the family courts.

You can read the news story here, but we reprint it below in full for ease of convenience:

Family Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage today addressed the third annual Family Justice and Young People’s Board Voice of the Child conference.
‘Voice of the Child’ conference
Children must be at the heart of the justice system, Family Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage said today.

The comments were made at the third annual ‘Voice of the Child’ conference held by the Family Justice and Young People’s Board (FJYPB) whose aim is to make sure the views of children and young people are listened to in the family justice system.

Today the message was heard loud and clear by Family Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage who attended. She said:

I am privileged to have been invited today, and to meet and hear from some really inspiring young people.

I know only too well the impact that divorce and parental separation can have on a child and young person.

It’s fantastic to see so many young people working alongside professionals from the family justice world – the very people who will be making decisions that affect their lives.

Addressing the group of 43 young people who have had direct experiences of the family justice system the minister acknowledged their contribution on family justice issues and reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to having a court system that both recognises and encourages young people’s views.

The event included a full day of engaging workshops, speeches and activities put on by the board. FJYPB member Nicole, aged 10, said:

This is a big day for us, we really want to be listened to and work with people who are responsible for making decisions about our lives.

When my mum and dad split up the court said my brother was too young for his side to be heard. This upset me because I was worried that there would be no one to protect him.

I feel like sometimes adults forget that our views are also important. This is why being part of the FJYPB has been fantastic – I finally feel like I am being listened to.

The day was attended by legal professionals, family charities, young people from the board and parents.

Question It!

Welcome to another Monday.

As the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse starts its work, conversations about terminology and definitions in relation to child abuse victims, have dominated social media forums. Some bystanders have criticised the use of the term survivor to describe child abuse victims, suggesting it is disproportionate to the experience of abuse and disrespectful to survivors of genocide, whilst some victims themselves have said they found the term un-empowering.

Others have suggested that the term is befitting of a phenomenon which leaves people emotionally and sometimes physically scarred for life as a result of their treatment and some survivors dislike the term victim, which they also feel is disempowering.

Our question to you then, is this: should terminology like this be a personal choice or a public one?


The Buzz

These are the news items we feel should be right on the radar:

Many thanks to the our news fairies for sharing these items with us.


Leading QC Working With Survivors To Give Them Central Role In Child Abuse Inquiry

It’s a hugely interesting development – Michael Mansfield QC, who heads up Mansfield Chambers has offered, along with Public Interest Lawyers to help survivors secure a central role within the nation’s Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

This move comes after concerns that the Inquiry would not be able to investigate the establishment independently as it stands, despite its Survivors Panel and regular meetings with victims of child sexual abuse.

Lead by the SOIA (Survivors of Organised & Institutional Abuse), which is an offshoot of the White Flowers Campaign, a project designed to monitor and assist the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse, this initiative seeks to involve all survivors and victims of child sexual abuse who wish to have a voice or guide the inquiry as it progresses.

We were very kindly sent an email with the details of this latest development, so we add it in part below:

Core participants/ What does it mean and why is it important?
“For the Inquiry to have any legitimacy it must place Survivors first and foremost. It was no good asking the Establishment to investigate themselves. There was and is corruption saturating every level of the Establishment. That is why it is vital for Survivors and Whistleblowers, under the umbrella of Whiteflowers, to mount “collective action” as Michael Mansfield QC, put it, to force the Inquiry to be a meaningful and credible process.
This can happen if we pull our weight behind the SOIA application to be treated not just as witnesses or consultants but as Core Participants.
(SOIA welcomes involvement for the application of Survivor supporters, Survivor Groups, Whistleblowers and Survivors of opportunistic or domestic child abuse.)
Practically, SOIA will make an application to the Inquiry assisted by PIL, (Public Interest Lawyers) and Mansfield Chambers (who have worked for free) to the Inquiry for us to be treated as ‘core participants’. If this application is granted Survivors will have a permanent and independent place within the Inquiry.

What is the legal definition of a core participant?
Under the Inquiry Rules (2006) the Chairman may designate a person as a core participant if she considers whether that person played or may have played a direct and significant role in relation to the matters to which the inquiry relates whether that person has a significant interest in an important aspect of the matters to which the inquiry relates, or the person may be subject to explicit or significant criticism during the inquiry proceedings, in the report or in any interim report. Then where two or more core participants each of whom seeks to be legally represented and the chairman considers that:

  • Their interests in the outcome of the inquiry are similar
  • The facts they are likely o rely upon are similar, and

It is fair and proper for them to be jointly represented
Then the chair can designate a single representative BUT the core participants must agree.

We are campaigning for SOIA to be recognised as a core participant and we need Survivors and their supporters to unite and support that application.”

If you would like to get involved, please get in touch, either via email or through the comments section below and we will send you further information and the application form for you to fill out.

Good luck to you all. xxxx

Many thanks to Terri Thatcher for sharing this item with us.


Care Leavers’ Association: National Meeting To Discuss Anglo-Welsh and Australian Child Abuse Inquiries

The Care Leavers’ Association, a leading charity run by care leavers, for care leavers will be holding a national meeting on Saturday 18th July in Manchester.

Lunch will be offered at 1.30pm, with the meeting starting at 2pm, and ending at around 5pm.

Care leavers will be speaking, and films about care will also be shown. The Association also hopes to discuss the nation’s inquiry into child sexual abuse and Australia’s own inquiry into abuse with a view to highlighting the links between the two inquiries.

Many thanks to Dana for alerting us to this meeting.



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