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Children Taught About Sexual Abuse More Likely to Report it
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Children Taught About Sexual Abuse More Likely to Report it

A global review finds children who take part in school-based programs designed to prevent sexual abuse are more likely to report it to an adult than children who have received no such education.
For the review, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, researchers examined published studies covering nearly 6,000 elementary and high school children in several countries around the world.
They found that of those children who received education in how to prevent sexual abuse, around 14 in 1,000 disclosed some form of sexual abuse, compared with 4 in 1,000 of children who did not receive it, reports medicalnewstoday.com.
However, lead author Kerryann Walsh, an associate professor in the faculty of education at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues note their results should be interpreted cautiously because of the “moderate” quality of the evidence.
They also conclude more research is needed before it can be said that school-based programs can actually reduce the incidence of sexual abuse.
Estimates suggest that worldwide at least 1 in 10 girls and 1 in 20 boys experiences sexual abuse. Children who experience sexual abuse are more likely to become victims of sexual assault when they grow up. They are also at higher risk of health and other problems in later life, including depression, suicide, eating disorders, drugs and alcohol.
Several countries - some since the 1980s - run school-based sexual abuse prevention programs that teach children how to recognize, react to and report sexual abuse. The review included data on 24 studies covering a total of 5,802 elementary and high school children in seven countries: the US, Canada, China, Germany, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey.

 Various Programs
The studies examined various types of program designed to prevent sexual abuse. These ranged from a single 45-minute session to eight 20-minute sessions on consecutive days, note the authors.
The programs used various formats to deliver their messages, including film, video, DVD, theatre plays and multimedia. These were supplemented with other resources such as songs, comics, coloring books, games and use of puppets. Teaching methods also varied from rehearsal and practice to role-play, discussion, and feedback.
Walsh and colleagues found some evidence that such programs can increase children’s knowledge about sexual abuse - four of the trials showed children remembered what they were taught six months later.
The review also showed that children who took part in the programs were more likely to try and protect themselves in a simulated abuse scenario than children without such education. The scenario involved a stranger asking them to accompany them out of the school.

Short URL : http://goo.gl/HSrs6L

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