Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Essay

3612 words - 14 pages

Child sexual abuse (CSA, henceforth) is a widespread problem and one that requires attention in order to address the problem and work towards eradicating it permanently. This assignment will provide a critical evaluation of existing strategies designed to tackle problems encountered by children who have been sexually abused and alternative strategies will also be considered.First of all, it needs to be mentioned that there is agreement of 'sexual abuse' being difficult to define and this lack of an agreed definition allows sexual abuse to continue (May-chahal and Herczog, 2003:207). Therefore, it is important that definitions are clarified globally in order to establish clear measures of the problem and authorize clear responses (WHO, 1999). A comprehensive definition of CSA is given by Mills (2004:9) who describes CSA as that which "involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways."In response to the high frequency of CSA, prevention is viewed as fundamental and many prevention strategies have been set up in an attempt to tackle the problem. Daro (1994:199) says "Preventing abuse can be seen as a process of altering the potential perpetrator, the potential victim, and the environment in which both exist." Moreover, Daro (1994:199) highlights a combination of four factors which limit the range of prevention strategies: (1) the social discomfort surrounding sexuality, (2) the difficulty in developing voluntary treatment options for offenders, (3) the absence of clear risk factors identifying potential perpetrators or victims, and (4) the speed and intensity of public exposure to the issue.Nelson (2002) says "The term "Prevention" has in practice tended to be used until now to mean one of three things: An emphasis on better ways of intervening in a minority of high-risk families where abuse has already happened , Keep-safe programmes in schools and "Prevention" through trying to make perpetrators change their ways in future." Similarly, Daro (1994) and May-chahal & Herczog (2003) believe prevention occurs on one of three stages and divide prevention strategies into three comprehensive categories. May-chahal & Herczog (2003:209) say "Primary prevention targets the societal and community levels with an emphasis on education programmes, developing public awareness, and raising the status of children." Daro (1994:199) points out that secondary prevention targets "services to high-risk groups in order to avoid the continued spread of the problem" and tertiary prevention targets "services to known perpetrators or victims with the intent of...

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