Themes and risk of sexual violence among the mentally ill: Implications for understanding and treatment

PAUL GREENALL, Lorna Jellicoe-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the files of 11 men from a regional forensic service who committed acts of sexual violence in the context of a mental disorder. The aim was to identify what factors other than a mental disorder may be relevant when considering acts of sexual violence by the mentally ill and what treatment implications this might raise. Several men experienced troubled childhoods, involving abuse in the home and outside and adulthoods were marked by employment difficulties, psychiatric morbidity and criminality. Static-99 found most men presented a medium-high or higher risk of re-offending and risk was mostly linked to sexual deviance and range of victims. Thematic analysis suggested sexual violence was primarily motivated by factors such as anger/violence; psychotic drive; sexual disinhibition and paedophilia. However, medication was the primary treatment intervention, with no treatments aimed at addressing other motivational or risk factors. Although men with a mental illness exhibit similar psychiatric features, this study found they commit sexual violence for a variety of reasons. However, whilst anti-psychotic medication is an important treatment, there is a need to consider others if the nature and level of their future risk is to be effectively managed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-337
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2007


  • sexual offending
  • mental illness
  • risk assessment
  • individual therapy


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