The U of A, working with the Little Warriors, have developed a program aimed at averting child sexual abuse. It’s simply called, Prevent it!
Dr. Peter Silverstone developed the program, he’s a Professor of Psychiatry at the U of A and he says that it’s designed to give parents and people who work with children the information they need to make a tangible difference. He adds the effects of child sexual abuse can be devastating.
“In the vast majority of cases children never disclose this until much later when they’re much older and it often leads to quite significant psychological damage, so addressing it is really important.”
He says there’s a lot that we don’t understand about why someone abuses children.
“What we do know is the impact that child sexual abuse has on those who suffer from it, and our goal is to try and minimize that, and there are ways we can do that. One is to speak to children early and see if something is happening, the other is to increase their awareness.”
Dr. Silverstone says when it comes to building on awareness it’s things like grooming techniques that Prevent It! will teach attendees to help kids look out for.
Quite a bit of research went into the development of Prevent It!, and Dr. Silverstone lays out the questions that guided his study.
“Are there structures we can do that have a meaningful impact that change behaviors and allow the risk to go down and early identification to go up? So, that’s what we studied and we were very gratified, the research was, really, extremely successful in this area.”
The Prevent It! workshops are free to attend, though donations are gratefully accepted. You can get all the information about the program and how to book a seat by clicking right here.