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Parents as Protectors: The Involvement of Parents in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

A digital download of this Lunch & Learn session. Parents as Protectors: The Involvement of Parents in Child Sexual Abuse...
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A digital download of this Lunch & Learn session.

Parents as Protectors: The Involvement of Parents in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention - Dr Julia Rudolph

Child sexual abuse (CSA) continues to be a problem for children worldwide, with a myriad of adverse personal, familial and societal consequences.

To date, primary prevention has focused almost exclusively on child education, teaching children how to recognise, resist and report sexual advances and victimization via school-based programs. Despite widespread support, child education lacks a sound theoretical base and questions remain about its effectiveness and appropriateness. Parental involvement in prevention has been limited, with the parental role restricted to that of educator.

However, research suggests that parents, even those knowledgeable about the risks, avoid teaching their children about the specifics of sexual abuse, preferring to discuss strangers and abduction dangers. Using sexual abuse theory and the concept of situational crime prevention, Dr Rudolph proposes two pathways that parents can be protective: 1) Directly, through the creation of safer environments via supervision, monitoring and involvement, and 2) Indirectly, through child well-being, achieved through positive parenting and healthy parent-child relationships.

In this presentation Dr Rudolph will discuss the problems of child-targeted CSA prevention and present new opportunities for prevention; with the involvement of parents as protectors, rather than educators.

Dr Julia Rudolph recently began a research fellowship at the Institute of Lifecourse Development at Greenwich University. Julia is an expert in child sexual abuse prevention and has developed a new model for the involvement of parents in prevention. In 2020 Julia was awarded a prestigious Griffith University Post-Doctoral Fellowship to develop and pilot the Parents as Protectors Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Module. Julia has also researched adolescent symptomology (rejection-sensitivity, body dysmorphic symptoms, appearance preoccupation, depression, anxiety), adolescent peer bullying, and associations between parenting and child/adolescent symptomology. Julia has worked with children and families in statutory child protection agencies both in Australia and the UK.

About the video

Video length: 78 minutes

Featuring: Dr Julia Rudolph, AoCPP staff and event delegates.

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What our members say

Opportunity to network with others and know I am part of a community of people committed to working for children and families; challenge to keep up to date and evidence-informed in my practice; sounding board with others for considering how best to improve policy and practice

Professor Peter Sidebotham, Member of the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and Emeritus Professor of Child Health at Warwick University