Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse

Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse

Final report

Antonia Quadara, Vicky Nagy, Daryl Higgins and Natalie Siegel

Research Report No. 33 — June 2015
Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse

Significant numbers of Australian children have experienced neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. The adverse, long-term consequences of these experiences are well demonstrated in the research literature and recognised by the policy and practice communities.

This report:

  • identifies the conceptual, policy and practice challenges that the prevention of child sexual abuse presents
  • presents a conceptual mapping of dynamics associated with child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation
  • outlines key directions that could be taken to strengthen prevention strategies.

The report is divided into two sections:

  • Part A: Background literature
  • Part B: Child sexual abuse: Current issues and future directions

Please note: The content in this report contains information that may cause distress to some readers.

If you have been affected by child sexual abuse and are distressed, support services are available if you want to talk to someone.

Key messages

The current significant challenges for addressing child sexual abuse prevention in research, policy and practice in Australia are due to a variety of factors including the silence around child sexual abuse, the misinformation about child sexual abuse victimisation effects and perpetration, and the focus on statutory responses to child sexual abuse.

Long-term, sustainable prevention requires efforts that prevent child sexual abuse in the first place by developing an integrated prevention framework, an examination of the underlying cause of child sexual abuse and strategies for prevention.

Authors and Acknowledgements

This project was the result of collaboration between PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Australian Institute of Family Studies. AIFS thanks PwC for their enthusiasm for the project's vision. In particular, thanks go to James van Smeerdijk, Partner at PwC, for supporting the collaboration, and Jenny Scott for providing valuable feedback.

We also acknowledge the Department of Social Services for supporting the proposal.

The authors would like to also acknowledge input from service providers in a range of sectors and key stakeholders. Their insights and expertise greatly enriched the project.

Finally, thanks to the editing team at AIFS for casting their eagle eyes over the content.

Publication details

Research Report
No. 33
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, June 2015.
74 pp.
ISSN: 
1477-1477
ISBN: 
978-1-76016-030-2
Suggested citation:

Quadara, A., Nagy, V., Higgins, D. & Siegel, N. (2015). Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse: Final report (Research Report No. 33). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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