Juvenile Sexual Offending: An EU Prevalence and State Response Study: Study Protocol

  • Etain Quigley Maynooth University
  • Katie Kirkwood
  • Shane Conaty
Keywords: Juvenile Sexual Offending; youth justice; sexual assault; adolescents


Background: Juvenile sexual offending is an area that has been largely under-researched to date and this has resulted in very little and sometimes conflicting research being published in the area. The dearth of empirical data in the space is concerning as it suggests that policy may not be underpinned by an empirical framework and this has far reaching implications for the development of laws, intervention programmes and the management of young people accused/convicted of a juvenile sexual offence. Moreover, the lack of an evidence-based framework has the potential to contribute to misinformation amongst the public who may be relying upon anecdotal news reports and exaggerated media representations.

Methods/Design: This study will use a survey to collect the same data from each European member state with the aim of generating comparable data. The first step in the design process was to design a typology of juvenile sexual offences so the data collected represents the same offences across each jurisdiction. The second step in the design process is to design a survey, using the typology, to collect data across each member country.

Discussion: This study aims to take a first step towards generating comparable data across each member state. As such this project will be the first to generate accurate comparable data on the prevalence of juvenile sexual offending across each EU Member State and data on how each Member State reacts to juvenile sexual offending.

Study Protocols