Primary and secondary prevention of child sexual abuse

Knack, N., Winder, B. ORCID: 0000-0002-9118-679X, Murphy, L. and Fedoroff, J.P., 2019. Primary and secondary prevention of child sexual abuse. International Review of Psychiatry, 31 (2), pp. 181-194. ISSN 0954-0261

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The high prevalence rates and numerous consequences associated with child sexual abuse makes preventing these offences a societal priority. Prevention strategies have traditionally involved only tertiary interventions, implemented by the criminal justice system after an offence has occurred. More recently, some have argued for a public health approach to preventing child sexual abuse, which includes interventions at the primary and secondary levels. Secondary prevention aims to provide treatment and support to those at-risk of sexually offending before any involvement with the legal system. Increased demand for secondary prevention services and early results from current initiatives demonstrate that at-risk individuals are willing to seek treatment without external pressure from the legal system, and often report numerous treatment-related benefits. These findings support the need for wide-spread implementation of primary and secondary prevention initiatives. The safety of children requires that we, as a society, stop merely reacting to sexual offences, and instead begin implementing proactive evidence-based strategies that can prevent even initial incidents of child sexual abuse. This article explores some of the many benefits and barriers associated with primary and secondary prevention, as well as strategies for overcoming these barriers. Recommendations for the development and implementation of prevention initiatives are also included.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Review of Psychiatry
Creators: Knack, N., Winder, B., Murphy, L. and Fedoroff, J.P.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2019
Volume: 31
Number: 2
ISSN: 0954-0261
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 07 Nov 2018 10:07
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2020 03:00

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