Navigation Links
School-based Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs

According to a new review of studies,School-based sexual abuse prevention programs can teach children to recognize mistreatment and might increase self-protective behaviors.

However, the programs have a downside: they could heighten anxieties, making children more fearful of strangers, the review cautions.

It was a concern that anxiety may be increased as we found in the review, but we were pleased that there was an increase in knowledge, said lead reviewer Karen Zwi of Sydney Childrens Hospital in Australia. The important issue is whether in a real life situation a child could utilize this knowledge.

The aim of the systematic review was to determine whether school-based sexual abuse prevention and education programs are effective, if they protect children and if they might cause unintentional harm.

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

The Cochrane reviewers analyzed 15 studies that included school-age pupils and high school students living in Canada and the United States. The education programs covered topics such as how to identify potential abuse, good touch vs. bad touch concepts and who to tell if abuse occurs.

The studies employed a variety of teaching strategies to educate the children, from films and lectures to puppet shows and role-playing.

One study found that children who participated in an education program were less likely to go with a simulated abductor than children who had not (21.5 percent vs. 47.6 percent).

Nine studies found that children who received sexual abuse prevention education demonstrated greater kno wledge of the subject compared to children in a control group.

Child sexual abuse is a serious problem for school-aged children worldwide, the reviewers write. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 2004 state and local Child Protective Services study found that 10 percent of U.S. children reported being victims of sexual abuse.

However, the review notes that there is no consistent definition of sexual abuse. Some prevention programs define abuse as instances of sexual body contact with a child while others consider abuse any sexual behavior in a childs presence, the review said.

Experts say most cases of sexual abuse go unreported. Moreover, the Cochrane reviewers said without a uniformly accepted definition, it is difficult to know how often sexual abuse occurs, especially in countries where there have been few studies conducted.

Rates [of abuse] may vary between countries because of differences in how child abuse is reported rather than true differences, Zwi said. The important point is that child abuse is generally under-reported.

This is because child sexual abuse is a difficult diagnosis to be certain of, and because many children are reluctant to declare their abuse for a range of reasons.

Joan Duffell, director of partnership development for the Committee for Children, said school-based prevention programs could help children know when to report abuse.

The Seattle-based nonprofit organization develops classroom programs that focus on topics such as youth violence, child abuse and personal safety. Schools should be diligent to select programs known to be effective, she said.

There are a proliferation of prevention programs around the country, some good and some not so good, Duffell said. We always recommend abuse preventions programs that are first based on the most current research and that are also done in a way that will actually teach students skills, such as assertiveness and help-seeking behaviors that will empower them as they grow up.

The Cochrane reviewers caution about prevention programs increasing a childs anxiety toward strangers is an outcome that is to be expected, Duffell said.

A hypothesis among researchers is that in a small percentage of children we do know their anxiety level will increase, but studies have shown that these same kids are the ones who will get anxiety from any educational program.

If its fire prevention, theyll be scared of fire, if its traffic safety, theyll be afraid of crossing the street, Duffell said.

Health Behavior News Service: Lisa Esposito at (202) 387-2829 or


Related medicine news :

1. Forsyth Scientists Wiping Out Tooth Decay Through School-based Cavities Prevention Program
2. Sexual abuse affect health for a lifetime
3. Hypertensive Drug Improves Sexual Dysfunction in Hypertensive Men
4. Incidence Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Gay Men On The Rise
5. Testosterone Patches Found To Increase Sexual Desire In Menopausal Women
6. Condom Vending Machines Increasing Sexual Assaults On Women
7. Sexually Abused Girls Develop Eating Disorders
8. Gynaecologist Faces Stiff Prison Sentence On Counts Of Sexual Abuse
9. New Sexual Misconduct Rule Against Doctors In The US
10. Historic Increase In Incidence Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases In Scotland
11. Youth Becoming Sexually Active At A Younger Age
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Wimbledon Health Partners, the ... Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate the public, parents and school ... About 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Beddit® has launched a ... tracking systems. The new app features a more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates sleep quality ... you slept. The SleepScore is created by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the data ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result ... from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Many people know of the common symptoms of ... and dry skin. But many people who find their cholesterol levels and weight are ... their thyroid, especially if they don’t have any of the other symptoms. , Thyroid ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis ... Care Plan software creates an agreement between the practice owner and the patient ... scheduling, monitoring, notification, and projections. Click here to learn more. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ... the New York State Attorney General,s ... Sherman Act, and other statutes with the Attorney General over ... to cease marketing and selling the now generic version of ... admits no liability, has released its counterclaims against ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... issue of United States patent No. 9,192,509  entitled: " Methods and Apparatus ... AVACEN 100 dry heat therapy medical device and specific methods of use, referred to by the ... - ... ... ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) (TSX: ENL) ... CEO, will discuss corporate updates at the 27 th ... on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 1 p.m. ... and then the link to the event. Participants should allow ... visit the site and download any streaming media software needed ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: