The role that child sexual abuse can play in girls’ involvement in prostitution, was explored in this study. Freud’s Psycho Analytical Theory, Hirschi’s Social Learning Theory and Lemert’s Labelling Theory were encompassed to formulate a model. This model is known as The Child Sexual Abuse Counter-Active Model and was designed by researcher as a theoretical framework to direct the research and serve as a basis for the interpretation of findings. This model postulates that the stage of psychosexual development wherein the abused finds herself may influence the effects the abuse has on the victim. These effects may be initial in nature or long term, and may play a contributory role in the victim entering into prostitution. The presence of social bonds namely: attachment, involvement, commitment and belief, expressed by significant others or through institutions, towards the victim, can help prevent the manifestation of negative effects within the abused. This in turn may play a conducive role in the individual withdrawing from prostitution. Once the victim of the child sexual abuse has entered into prostitution, the choice to withdraw may be influenced by the individuals’ reaction to labels bestowed upon them by significant individuals, society or institutions. If the abused responds negatively to the labelling, then an internalisation of these negative concepts may prevail and the prostitute accepts this label and remains within prostitution. However, should the labelling be experienced as positive by the prostitute then the withdrawal from prostitution may become a possibility. Thus, the withdrawal from prostitution as well as the initial entrance into prostitution is determined by the afore-mentioned factors all playing a contributory role through their presence in the sexually abused child’s life. From the interpretation of the data accumulated, it appeared that each respondent subjected to child sexual abuse, irrespective of the psychosexual developmental stage wherein the abuse occurred, exhibited initial as well as long term effects. The absence of significant institutions and individuals in attempting to prevent the entrance into prostitution as well as the role played by labelling could all account for the victims’ choice to enter into and remain within prostitution. These findings made it possible to advance practical recommendations with regard to preventing child sexual abuse. A heightening in awareness of the initial and long term effects child sexual abuse carries as well as the education required within the community could help combat this type of abuse. Professionals, professional institutions, parents and victims could also assist to prevent this crime. In addition the findings furthermore highlight subjects, which pose as possibilities for further victimological research.
Dissertation (MA (Criminology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.