“The Role of Educators in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect”
Cynthia Crosson-Tower, 2003
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Educators are important partners in preventing, identifying, and responding to child abuse and neglect.
To teach children effectively, parents and teachers should be well informed about the complex impact of sexual abuse on children and other key facts. Whatever advice or instructions are given to children, they must be grounded in honest explanation and a good knowledge of the facts. It is thus extremely important that parents and teachers distinguish facts from misconceptions. Sex offenders count on misconceptions and turn them into an advantage. Parents and teachers should also know that some of our frequent messages to children may actually contribute to their victimization. (Adults are always right! A policeman will take you away if you don’t behave! Give your uncle a kiss!).
Finkelhor (2007:643) writes: “There is broad agreement that the burden of preventing victimization should not lie exclusively in the hands of children. However, if there are potentially effective things that children can do, it would also be morally reprehensible not to equip them with such skills.”
“School-based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse”
Kerryann Walsh, Karen Zwi, Susan Woolfenden, Aron Shlonsky
First published: 16 April 2015
Editorial Group: Cochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group
Currently, schools implement a variety of interventions aimed at preventing child sexual abuse. It is likely that these interventions will be most useful as part of wider community initiatives promoting the safety of children, the contents, processes, and outcomes of which must be clearly defined and measured in rigorous evaluation designs. Furthermore, children’s increased knowledge of abuse should not be seen as a replacement for society’s responsibility to ensure child safety. It must be emphasized that increasing children’s knowledge in this area does not mean they are in any way responsible for abuse, which might then occur by their not being able to apply this knowledge in an actual abuse situation. Even if successful in only a small proportion of situations, given the prevalence of child sexual abuse, it is possible that the skills and knowledge learned in prevention programmes may be of assistance to a considerable number of children.