Transforming Communities to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation 1

A Primary Prevention Approach

 Scope of the Problem

One in four girls and one in seven boys is the victim of sexual abuse/assault before age 18.

  • 71% of assaults are committed by someone that knows the child and family, with 10% of perpetrators being in the family itself.
  • Many perpetrators have once abused themselves.

The Current Perception of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

  • Gender Perspective
  • Human rights Perspective
  • Criminal Justice Perspective
  • Public Health Perspective

What can be done to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place

  • A diverse group of local and national experts
  • Developed and prioritized primary prevention strategies,
  • Analyzed environmental factors and norms, and
  • Outlined policies and practices for transforming communities.

There must be an increased awareness that child sexual abuse and exploitation does not occur in isolation, but instead, stems from deeply rooted social inequities and environmental influences.

Convening participant Domains of the Child

The Environment: Childhood in the New Millennium

  • Increase amount and more sophisticated marketing towards children
  • Pervasive access to and inclusion of technology
  • Sexualized children, submissive women, and dominant males
  • Lack of resources and support for abused and abusers
  • Increased concentrations of poverty
  • Social Cohesion
  • Nearly half of men would be too scared to help a child in need because they feared being branded a pedophile.
  • 44% would be wary of coming to the aid of youngsters in case they were suspected of attempting to abduct them.

Prevention: a systematic process that promotes healthy environments and behaviors and reduces the likelihood or frequency of an injury or traumatization. 

 Primary Prevention is taking action before violence occurs. 



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