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research article

‘So what about the stories?’ An exploratory study of the definition, use, and function of Narrative Child Sexual Exploitation Material

Pages 1-9
Received 03 Nov 2015
Accepted 29 Aug 2016
Accepted author version posted online: 20 Sep 2016
Published online: 04 Oct 2016
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The legal and psychological research surrounding online Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSEM) is focused on visual depictions of children, either as still images or movies. Narrative CSEM (N-CSEM) describes an under-researched area, resulting from difficulties surrounding its conceptualisation, both legally as well as concerning the function for its users. The current study describes an initial attempt in defining N-CSEM in comparison to visual material, based on interviews with users of CSEM and N-CSEM and professionals working with this user group. Thematic Analysis resulted in three super-ordinate themes. All themes were analysed and enriched from the perspectives of user- and service-representatives. The study provides insight into N-CSEM as a separate entity from visual CSEM, challenging and informing legal decision-making and assessment and treatment providers for users of CSEM.