Children who commit sexually violent acts have been identified in increasing numbers since the 1980s. Professionals who practise therapeutic intervention with this group have struggled to find explanations for their client's deviant behaviour. Current explanations for, and discourses on, the occurrence of sexual violence minimize the effect of poverty in the therapeutic arena. The most difficult and worrisome child clients for participants of this research are the poor ones, yet the practice of counselling is unable to address structural disadvantage. This leads to a poverty culture explanation for sexual violence and child abuse which recognizes poverty yet pathologizes the individual. The identification of a new problem-children's sexual violence - the individualized case-based approach to intervention and current social policy minimize the continuing and persistent problem of poverty. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.