Child sexual abuse prevention education : A review of school policy and curriculum provision in Australia

Walsh, Kerryann, Berthelsen, Donna, Nicholson, Jan M., Brandon, Leisa, Stevens, Judyann, & Rachele, Jerome N. (2013) Child sexual abuse prevention education : A review of school policy and curriculum provision in Australia. Oxford Review of Education, 39(5), pp. 649-680.

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The past four decades have seen increasing public and professional awareness of child sexual abuse. Congruent with public health approaches to prevention, efforts to eliminate child sexual abuse have inspired the emergence of prevention initiatives which can be provided to all children as part of their standard school curriculum. However, relatively little is known about the scope and nature of child sexual abuse prevention efforts in government school systems internationally.

This paper assesses and compares the policies and curriculum initiatives for child sexual abuse prevention education in primary (elementary) schools across state and territory Departments of Education in Australia. Using publicly available electronic data, a deductive qualitative content analysis of policy and curriculum documents was undertaken to examine the characteristics of child sexual abuse prevention education in these school systems. It was found that the system-level provision of child sexual abuse prevention education occurs unevenly across state and territory jurisdictions. This results in the potential for substantial inequity in Australian children’s access to learning opportunities in child abuse prevention education as a part of their standard school curriculum.

In this research, we have developed a strategy for generating a set of theoretically-sound empirical criteria that may be more extensively applied in comparative research about prevention initiatives internationally.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 60118
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: child sexual abuse, prevention education, school-based prevention, school curriculum
DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2013.843446
ISSN: 1465-3915
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Gender Sexuality and Education (130308)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the Oxford Review of Education [Volume 39, Issue 5, 2013] [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:
Deposited On: 20 May 2013 22:56
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2017 11:53

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