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Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse

eISSN: 1573286X | ISSN: 10790632 | Current volume: 34 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Bi-monthly

Sexual Abuse, the official journal of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, provides a forum for the latest original research and scholarly reviews on both clinical and theoretical aspects regarding the perpetration of sexual abuse.

Unlike other publications that present a mix of articles on sexual abuse and human sexuality in general, Sexual Abuse is the only one to focus exclusively on this field, thoroughly investigating its etiology, consequences, prevention, treatment and management strategies.

The in-depth studies provide essential data for those working in both clinical and academic environments, including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and therapists/counselors, as well as corrections officers and allied professionals in children's services.


Sexual Abuse, the official journal of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, provides an international and multi-disciplinary forum for the latest research (quantitative or qualitative) and scholarly reviews on theoretical, clinical, and policy-relevant aspects of sexual abuse. The journal publishes rigorously peer-reviewed articles on the characteristics, etiology, life course, prevention, assessment, treatment, management, and consequences of individuals who have perpetrated sexual abuse and those who are at risk of doing so. This research provides essential evidence for those working in mental health, criminal justice, public policy, advocacy, and academic settings, including allied professionals working with those who have experienced sexual abuse.

Michael Seto, Ph.D., C.Psych. Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Managing Editor
Maia Christopher, B.A. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, Beaverton, Oregon, USA
Associate Editors
Kelly Babchishin, Ph.D. Carleton University, Canada
Caoilte Ó Ciardha University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
Melissa Grady, Ph.D. Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, USA
Wineke Smid, Ph.D. Forensic Care Specialists
Jill D. Stinson, Ph.D. East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
Editorial Board
Ross Bartels, Ph.D. University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK
Eric Beauregard, Ph.D. Burnaby, BC, Canada
Anthony R. Beech, Ph.D. The University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Sarah J. Brown, D.Phil. University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
Cynthia Calkins, Ph.D. John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, New York, USA
Heng Choon (Oliver) Chan, Ph.D. City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Angela Eke, Ph.D. Ontario Provincial Police, Orillia, Ontario, Canada
Amanda M. Fanniff, Ph.D. Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, California, USA
Steven Gillespie, Ph.D. University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
R. Karl Hanson, Ph.D. Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
L. Maaike Helmus, Ph.D. Simon Fraser University, Canada
Chantal Hermann, Ph.D. Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Toronto, ON, Canada
Elizabeth L. Jeglic, Ph.D. John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY, USA
Sandy Jung, Ph.D. MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Drew A. Kingston, Ph.D., C.Psych HOPE Program, Hayward, California, USA
Martin Lalumière, Ph.D. University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Benoit Leclerc, Ph.D. Griffith University, Australia
Kieran McCartan, Ph.D University of West of England, Bristol, UK
Michael H. Miner University of Minnesota, USA
Andreas Mokros, D.Phil. Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
Mark E. Olver, Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan, Canada
M. Jean Proulx, Ph.D. Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Martin Rettenberger Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany
Jeffrey Sandler, Ph.D. New York State Office of Mental Health, Albany, New York, USA
Pekka Santtila, Ph.D. Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
Skye Stephens, Ph.D. St. Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Karen J. Terry, Ph.D. John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY, USA
David Thornton, Ph.D. Forensic Assessment Training and Research (FAsTR) LLC
Tony Ward, Ph.D. Wellington, New Zealand
Gwenda M. Willis, Ph.D. The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Robin J. Wilson Ph.D, ABPP Wilson Psychological Services, Sarasota, Florida, USA
James Worling, Ph.D. Private Practice, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Jamie Yoder, Ph.D. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado , USA
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  • Instructions to Authors

    Submission Guidelines

    SA uses an online submission and review platform. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to Authors will be required to set up an online account on the SAGE Track system powered by ScholarOne. From their account, a new submission can be initiated. Authors will be asked to provide the required information (author names and contact information, abstract, keywords, etc.), complete submission checklist, and to upload the "title page" and "main document" separately to ensure that the manuscript is ready for blind review. Supplemental materials (e.g., additional tables, figures) can also be uploaded, when applicable, and will need to be prepared for blind review. The site contains links to an online user's guide (Get Help Now [add web link]) for help navigating the site.

    Manuscripts are subjected to blind peer review and require the author’s name(s) and affiliation listed on a separate page. Any other identifiable information, including any references in the manuscript, the notes, the title, supplemental materials, and reference sections, should be removed from the paper and listed on separate pages.

    Manuscripts should be prepared according to the guidelines set forth in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). This includes stipulations regarding page layout, manuscript sections and headings, and formatting of references, tables, and figures. DOI numbers when available for listed references are to be included. Effect sizes and confidence intervals are reported, where appropriate.

    Each submission should also include an abstract between 150 and 200 words and 4-5 keywords.

    Authors should also ensure appropriate statements have been included in the submission and the Submission Checklist completed.

    Submission of a manuscript implies a commitment by the author to publish in the journal. If the manuscript is accepted, the editors assume that any manuscript submitted to SA is not currently under consideration by any other journal.

    If you are interested in open access, click here. The standard article processing charge for SAGE Choice is 3,000 USD/1,600 GBP. The fee excludes any other potential author fees levied by some journals (such as color charges) as well as taxes where applicable.

    Author Statements

    SA strives for objectivity and transparency in research. As such, we request authors to disclose information relevant for the Editors, reviewers, and readers of this journal.

    Statement 1: Statistical Significance Statement

    Authors should provide information on their study design and analysis that can increase the risk of spurious significant findings (colloquially referred to as p-hacking):

    1. In the Acknowledgement section, empirical manuscripts should include the statement, "The authors takes responsibility for the integrity of the data, the accuracy of the data analyses, and have made every effort to avoid inflating statistically significant results."
    2. In the Method section, empirical manuscripts may consider including the statement, “We report how we determined our sample size, all data exclusions (if any), all manipulations, and all measures in the study”, from the 21 Word Solution (Simmons, Nelson, & Simonsohn, 2012). Authors should also include the following elements in the Method section:
      1. Report how sample size was determined and what rule was used to stop data collection;
      2. Report the total number of any excluded cases or observations, and the reasons for making these exclusions;
      3. Report all dependent variables that were analyzed for the research question(s), whether reaching statistically significant thresholds or not;
      4. If applicable, report all relevant manipulations or conditions, whether successful or not;
      5. Specify whether analyses were prespecified prior to data collection- in order to address the specific research question- or exploratory- implemented after examination of the data and/or prespecified analyses (see Head et al. [2015], for further information);
      6. Cite prior publication of some or all of the data reported in the manuscript, to assist in future meta-analysis.

    These guidelines are intended to be aspirational, to encourage greater transparency and reproducibility. Submissions that cannot address all these points will still be considered and accepted for publication in SA.

    We recognize that these guidelines are more easily implemented for manuscripts reporting experimental designs, but may not be suitable for other types of studies that are commonly submitted to SA. For example, it is common in our field for a study to use data from a large database that have led to multiple publications using some or all of the data. Citing all prior publications (Element f) would be excessive in length, and might not be possible if the authors are not aware of all the published work that has used this database. In this particular example, we suggest that the authors clearly describe the database and cite prominent studies using the database, so that the readers understand where these data come from. Large databases may also have many measures, not all of which would have been analyzed for the purpose of the submitted study. In such cases, reporting all the measures would again be excessively long. Instead, the authors are asked to report all variables that were examined for the research questions (Element a).

    Qualitative study designs are another submission that do not easily fit these elements and where the 21 Word Solution might not be appropriate. For qualitative studies, Element a (reporting how sample size was determined), Element b (reporting any included cases), and Element f (citing prior publications that use some or all of the data) are usually applicable.

    The 21 Word Solution would also not be applicable to meta-analyses, but much of the elements (i.e., Element B, C, E, and F) are pertinent. Finally, review or theoretical submissions that do not present any statistical analyses would not require these statements.

    Statement 2: Role of Funding Sources
    Authors must identify any financial support received to conduct the research and/or preparation of the manuscript. Authors should specify if the funding source had any involvement in the research and/or preparation of the manuscript. The absence or presence of funding does not preclude eligibility for publication in the journal.

    Statement 3: Disclosure of Financial Interests
    All authors must disclose any financial interests, such as a financial stake in a measure or service described in the manuscript, or a close, current personal relationship with someone (e.g., partner/spouse, family member) who has a financial stake in a measure or service that is described. A financial interest does not preclude eligibility for publication in the journal.

    Statement 4: Research ethics approval
    Authors must include a statement in the Methods section regarding institutional research ethics review and approval, if applicable. If not applicable, a short rationale should be provided (e.g., not applicable or not required).

    Open Science Badging

    Sexual Abuse encourages open science practices, which includes preregistration of studies, providing open study materials, or providing study data in a public repository. To qualify, preregistration, open materials, and open data should be on a publicly accessible website in a format that is time-stamped, immutable, and permanent.

    To recognize these practices, we are introducing Open Science Framework (OSF) badging to articles published in this journal. For more information about these badges, see the OSF Wiki. Badging is not required for submission, peer review, or publication.

    Preregistration badges are currently for Registered Reports only. Authors are asked to be mindful of ethical issues, copyright, and feasibility when considering the sharing of materials or data.

    If you wish to apply for OSF badging, please ensure you mention this in your cover letter, complete our disclosure form and include it with your submission.


    Authors are encouraged to be thoughtful about the connotations of language used in their manuscripts to describe persons or groups. Person-first language (e.g., “persons with sexual offense histories”, “individual who has been adjudicated for…”, “child/adolescent with sexual behavior problems”) is generally preferred because it is often more accurate and less pejorative than terms like “sex offender”. Terms like “sex offender” imply an ongoing tendency to commit sex offenses, which is inaccurate
    for many persons who have been convicted for sex offenses given current sexual recidivism base rates. Similarly, the term suggests a homogeneous group defined and stigmatized on the basis of criminal behaviors that may have taken place infrequently
    or many years in the past. Person-first language is also consistent with APA style guidelines for reducing bias in written language (see American Psychological Association). Authors will sometimes need to refer to current legal terms such as "Sexually Violent Predator" laws in the US; in such cases the legal term can be placed in italics or in quotation marks. Additional guidance on this recommendation can be found in the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual, Willis (2018), and Willis and Letourneau (2018).

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