Community Prevention Program

702 words | 3 page(s)

Sexual assault at any age is a very serious crime that has a tremendous immediate emotional impact and a long-term psychological impact. Even more traumatic is that often sexual assault victims, especially at-risk youth or runaway youths are ignored by law enforcement or the case load may be so backed up, i.e., Los Angeles County, victimized children may not ever realize the justice or receive the help they so desperately require to initiate the transition to emotional healing in their life. “Childhood sexual abuse has been associated with a number of serious physical and psychological consequences throughout childhood and into adulthood for both child victims and their families.” (Hernandez, Ruble, Rockmore, McKay, Messam, Harris, Hope, 2010)

The establishment of trust between the community prevention program and the qualified staff that runs the program is the first priority when addressing children as the underlying case load with regard to psychoeducational responses and programs designed to reintegrate sex assault victims into a comparatively normal life. “A person sexually abuses a child when he or she exposes a child to sexual acts or behavior. Child sexual abuse is an abuse of trust, power, and authority that may cause serious short-term and long-term problems for a child (Briere, Elliot, 2003). The aforementioned is the reason to why the establishment of a trusting and supportive environment where the child is not necessarily viewed upon or treated as a victim, but instead, is given the love and support that a nurturing environment is supposed to provide.

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The underlying issues of gender, diversity, and ethics, do play a more concentric role with regard to the sexual assault of children and to sexual assault in general. Boys for example, are seen as the dominant sex by other adult males to which the reported sexual assault of a young male is not taken too seriously in most cases as males are the sexual aggressor when in the pursuit of women for romantic encounters. This prevailing ideal in many societies has precluded the notion that males may be sexually assaulted by females. However, males may be sexually assaulted by other males to which these crimes are considered to be ‘more prosecutable’ and more dastardly given the inherent trust a young male will instill in an older male especially when the older male is a mentor or considered as a role model to the abused youth.

To aid children to rebuild their confidence and to establish trust with others again, the idea of prevention programs (Briere, Elliot, 2003) has enabled greater risk-reduction methods (Briere, Elliot, 2003). “Child sexual abuse prevention programs for children have been implemented across the United States for decades. Traditionally, these programs have applied a risk reduction approach – one that educates children about child sexual abuse and provides them with skills to repel and report abuse.” (Briere, Elliot, 2003) Risk reduction is an excellent preventive approach to enable any further sexual abuse by essentially preventing the situation from arising where sex abuse may occur.

“Generally, child sexual abuse prevention programs that target children have three main goals: to teach children to recognize child sexual abuse, to give them the skills to avoid abuse, and to encourage them to report abuse that they have experienced, are experiencing, or may experience in the future” (Kenny et al., 2008; Repucci & Herman, 1991; Topping & Barron, 2009). (Briere, Elliot, 2003) Community Prevention Programs and intervention programs as well as treatment programs must all coincide with how treatment is presented and administered. For example, the intervention program should immediately commence upon the realization of a new sexual assault case and a child who has been brought in and reported as a victim. Following the intervention program should commence the treatment program, which is designed to establish confidence and to build the confidence level in the child to better enable the prevention aspect of the program.

  • Sexual Violence Resource Center. (2011). Child Sex Abuse Prevention. NSVRC. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/Publications_NSVRC_Guide_Child-Sexual-Abuse-Prevention-programs-for-children.txt
  • Hernandez A., Ruble C., Rockmore L., McKay M., Messam T., Harris M., Hope S. (2010). An Integrated Approach to Treating Non-Offending Parents Affected by Sexual Abuse. Social Work Mental Health. National Institute of Health (NIH). Retrieved October 17, 2013, from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2759768/

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