Despite the reluctance to use the term
“paedophile” for under-17s, 65 per cent of child sex abusers fulfil
the same criteria applied to adult paedophiles, said Eileen Vizard,
clinical director of the Young Abusers Project.
said that children and adolescents under 17 could not be given a
psychiatric diagnosis of paedophilia as it is assumed that
paedophile interest in other children does not occur before that
Young Abusers Project, now managed by the NSPCC, has seen 330 cases
since it began in 1992.
comprise 10 per cent of the project’s cases. Learning difficulties,
maternal abuse and abuse of animals were prevalent features in
girls who sexually abused other children, said Vizard, who stressed
the need for mental health input in services.