The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine youths' perceptions of statutory victimization relationships and youths' experience interacting with professionals. In-person qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 youths identified as statutory rape victims by two child advocacy centers. Using grounded theory, interviews were coded thematically using constant comparison analysis. The discussion of the relationship dynamics suggested a great deal of variation. Some youths described the relationships in exploitive terms. However, more typically, the interviewed youth described the relationship as reciprocal, even some time after it had ended. The professional intervention often resulted in feelings of helplessness for the youth. The results suggest creative and flexible protocols are needed for handling these cases that recognize adolescents' developing autonomy.
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- compliant victim
- qualitative analysis
- statutory rape