UA-174898256-1 Crimes Against Children Research Center



As a result of increased public concern over the sexual assault of children and other forms of child victimization, over the past 25 years schools and other community organizations have developed and implemented programs designed to help children prevent assaults and other victimizations. While these programs vary, most include four components:

CCRC researchers have investigated the efficacy of such programs. Among the findings:

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The Prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Finkelhor, D. (2009)

This paper examines initiatives to prevent child sexual abuse, which have focused on two primary strategies—offender management and school-based educational programs. Recent major offender managment initiatives have included registering sex offenders, notifying communities about their presence, conducting background employment checks, controlling where offenders can live, and imposing longer prison sentences. Although these initiatives win approval from both the public and policy makers, little evidence exists that they are effective in preventing sexual abuse. On the other hand, school-based educational programs teach children such skills as how to identify dangerous situations, refuse an abuser’s approach, break off an interaction, and summon help. The programs also aim to promote disclosure, reduce self-blame, and mobilize bystanders. Considerable evaluation research exists about these programs, suggesting that they achieve certain of their goals.