Teaching children in schools about sexual abuse may help them report abuse

Schools are a logical place for child sexual abuse prevention initiatives, according to the lead author of an authoritative report on the best quality research.

On behalf of Cochrane, an independent global organisation which reviews quality research evidence, Kerryann Walsh , Associate Professor in Education at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, presented the key findings of research into preventing child sexual abuse at the Education Media Centre.

Key Information :

At least 1 in 10 girls and 1 in 20 boys worldwide are sexually abused.

Children aged 7 – 12 are mot vulnerable to sexual abuse

The researchers relied on only the “highest quality evidence” for their key findings – this amounted to 24 academic studies into the impact of school programmes aimed to protect children from sexual abuse.

The 24 studies involved 5802 children , mainly primary school age , and 15 different types of programmes , for example ” Good touch ; Bad touch”

These studies involved randomised control trials – regarded widely as a “gold standard” in much academic research and were carried out in the US, Canada, Germany,Spain, China, Turkey , Taiwan.

A key finding is children who had been taught about preventing sexual abuse may be more likely to tell an adult if they themselves had been abused, compared with children who had not had those lessons. This finding was based on 3 studies of a total of 1,700 children in the United States.

You can read Cochrane’s press release and the full report below

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