Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

AuthorLoree Armstrong Beniuk, Jo-Anne Hughes, and Jack Reynolds
Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
Charlene and Celeste have been friends for nearly two decades. eir husbands were
business associates, so they saw each other oen at parties and dinners. Celeste is
a music teacher, and Charlene has come to her recitals for years. ey have visited
the Art Institute on a regular basis together and attended downtown concerts and
chatted the aernoons away. Each is y-ve years old, but it was only a year ago
that Celeste had the courage to say to Charlene, “You know, my father molested
me when I was a child.” To which Carlene replied, “So did mine,” and they hugged.
— Carol Poston and Karen Lison, Reclaiming Our Lives:
Hope for Adult Survivors of Incest
Preventing child sexual abuse is a challenging, complex, and elusive sub-
ject. There is no easy way to accomplish it, and in fact there are more
questions than answers.
Can we accomplish it through educational initiatives with children and
caregivers and the community at large? Would this help make sure that
children are less oen in harm’s way, that children are taught how to report
sexual abuse, and that we are all more aware of the signs that an adult or
youth has a sexual behaviour problem? Is it unfair to put the burden of pre-
venting sexual abuse on children? Are such educational initiatives helpful
in identifying children who have already been sexually abused, because
they could inspire some such children to come forward?
Would tougher sentencing of abusers serve as a deterrent? Should a
f‌irst-time non-violent of‌fender convicted of using child sexual images get

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