What is it about?

A great deal of attention has been devoted to sexual molestation cases, both in theory and practice. Child molesters are versatile and are not easily identified. Various theories and tactics, the most contemporary of which is environmental criminology, have been developed to find those criminals. Locations of victims, crime scenes, and distances among them as well as other situational variables are used to predict possible future offenses in environmental criminology. This study applies the theory to sexual molestation crimes in Istanbul. Dependent distance variables are found to be correlated with several situational variables in a selected sample of 127 extra-familial child sexual molestation cases. You could read it: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320740527_EVENT_LOCATIONS_IN_EXTRA-FAMILIAL_CHILD_SEXUAL_MOLESTATION_CASES_THE_ISTANBUL_EXAMPLE_Gonultas_MB_Sahin_B_2016_Event_locations_in_extra-familial_child_sexual_molestation_cases_the_Istanbul_example_Int

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Why is it important?

The present study examines criminal cases that occurred in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul offers a perfect model reflecting both the socioeconomic status of the region and its peculiar criminal activities. Thus, addressing crime-oriented problems in Istanbul is important not only for the city itself but also for the region because of the representability of the city. Nonetheless, the literature lacks quality research on crimi-nal issues in the territory at the same time that there is an urgent need to address the safety problems caused by sexual molestation. As a result, the present study seeks to obtain and evaluate data that will help to address these research gaps.


The study shows that the child molesters usually live close to the victim’s environ-ment and the places where molestation incidents occur. All corners of the crime trian-gles are mostly in the same neighborhood, even for the stranger offenders. Offenders attack victims in their own territories as distance-decay effect states. Older molesters victimize minors in even closer locations in respect to younger offenders. Moreover, younger victims are targeted in the shorter distances the offenders covered. The public myth describing sexual offenders as predators coming from far away locations is shown to be false. Offenders are close to the victims; indeed, they are often neighbors. By the same token, offenders are rational decision makers. They usually have a modus ope-randi involving a set of cost-benefit analyses. Law enforcement personnel should take into consideration these evaluations in future investigations. Molestation incidents deeply affect the community; hence, a greater number of scientific studies on the issue in the Middle East region is needed. Developing social awareness is another important matter in the communities of the domain, where myths have more followers than facts.Awareness will help to cultivate two significant outcomes: First, parents or custo-dians of minors will be extra careful in the neighborhoods where they feel safer. Absence of guardians is a must for the crime to happen; as a result, vigilant parents and custodians are the most essential part of prevention of sexual molestation cases. The second outcome is related to the aftermath of the incidents. Once abolished, the myth that offenders come from far away/unknown locations will no longer be an obstacle in the investigations of criminal justice institutions. Molestation cases are the most dif-ficult criminal investigations in part owing to the public pressure for an immediate arrest of the offender. When the victims are minors they usually cannot provide detailed clues, and there are no witness reports in most cases. When a series of sexual molestations continues for a long time, the hunt for the offender may turn into a national or even an international issue. This study gives important tips for law enforce-ment professionals to use at the start of an investigation.Using environmental criminology, the article also attempts to add a new criminal justice technique in sexual crime investigations in Turkey, where GIS and other IT procedures have not yet been satisfactorily applied. GIS offers voluminous solutions for almost all academic disciplines, ranging from forestry to public administration, from crisis management to criminology. Many law enforcement agencies adopt GIS methods in crime analysis proactively. To increase the efficiency of investigations, Turkish law enforcement agencies should use these procedures routinely as well. Cases analyzed in this study unfortunately lacked sufficient geographical information and related situational variables. Developed strategies that the law enforcement agen-cies in Turkey exercise will be an example to the neighboring countries giving rise to safer communities (

PhD Burak Mirac Gonultas
Cumhuriyet Universitesi

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Event Locations in Extra-Familial Child Sexual Molestation Cases: The Istanbul Example, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, October 2016, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0306624x16673373.
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