Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

Essay by sahmed10 December 2009

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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...