Child Sexual Abuse Prevention




Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
The purpose of this literature review is to evaluate the information that has been collected in the area of child sexual abuse prevention. From the research studies critically examined, a decision will be made as to what areas improvements need to be made in, in order to adequately outfit children, teachers and child care workers with the skills and knowledge to help prevent child sexual abuse.
An exploratory study entitled “Child Sexual Abuse Prevention” was conducted by Michele Elliott of Kidscape Charity for Children’s Safety, London England and also by Kevin Browne and Jennifer Kilcoyne of the School of Medicine, University of Birmingham, Birmingham England. The Nuffield Foundation sponsored the research. The aim of this study was to interview child sex offenders about the methods they used to target their victims with the hope of using this information to improve child abuse prevention programs.
The researchers chose ninety-one men who had been convicted and incarcerated for committing sexual offenses against children. Fifteen of these men were attending community based sex offender treatment programs, twenty two of the participants were in special hospitals and thirty-nine of these men were at the time of the first interview still incarcerated in prisons, with sentences ranging from nine months to life. No sexual offenders with mental illnesses were used for this study. “All of the participants were convicted of “hands-on” assaults, including indecent assault, unlawful intercourse, rape and buggery against children under the age of 18 and were receiving some form of therapy.” (Elliott, Browne and Kilcoyne 1995, page 580) “Participants were given no special consideration in either reducing their sentences or treatment programs.” (Elliott, et al, 1995, page 580)

Each participant was interviewed a total of three times, the first was to inform the men of the purpose of the study and to invite them to join. The second interview asked the men a total of seventy-two questions and was conducted by a female research psychologist. Some of the
questions were; the age and range of their victims, how they selected children, how they maintained them as victims and what suggestions they had for preventing child sexual abuse. The third interview was conducted six months after the second and the answers received were compared to those in the second interview to test for consistency. The offenders displayed a 90 percent consistency in the way they responded throughout the interviews.
The study concluded that in order for prevention programs to become more affective and successful they need to include information about the specific ways that child molester operate. “It also stated that it is potentially dangerous for children to tell the abuser “no” once the abuse as started and that Child Safety Programs needed to be re-evaluated and information reassessed in light of the information that offenders have revealed.” (Elliott et al, 1995, page 593)
The next research study that will be examined is entitled “Positive and Negative Effects of a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program”. The aim of this research is to study the intended and unintended affects of the “Right to Security” child sexual abuse prevention program. “The aim of the prevention program is to enhance self-protective skills of children that are thought to contribute to safety in potential abuse situations.” (Taal & Edelaar, 1997, page 400) The program aims to outfit children to deal with their first encounter with persons who intend to sexually offend them. “The “Right to Security” program was adapted from the American “Feeling Yes, Feeling No” program and the “Child Assault Prevention Project”, to Dutch society.” (Taal & Edelaar, 1997, page 407) “The program consisted of eight sessions, three of which were given by actors and the others by teachers trained to administer the program.” (Taal & Edelaar, 1997, page 402) The duration of the program was six weeks.
This was a quasi-experiment research study. Both the experimental and control group was chosen from the Dutch elementary-school system and the participants ranged in age from eight to twelve years old. There were 161 participants in the experiment group, these subjects were participants in “Right to Security”, and thus they were non-randomly selected to participate in the study. Children who were on the waiting lists to attend the program and were assigned to the control group.
Both the experimental and