Is Child Sexual Abuse Inevitable? – with Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau
Years ago, Elizabeth Letourneau had a key insight: What if instead of focusing exclusively on victims and parents for child sexual abuse prevention, we really turned to the source of the problem: the person at risk of sexually abusing a child?
Now, we really don’t like to talk about, or even think about, the fact that some youth and some adults are sexually attracted to children. But what if we could teach middle schoolers about sexual boundaries and about consent before they ever made a misstep? And what if those youth and adults struggling with the shame of an unwanted sexual attraction to children had a way to get help before they ever harmed a child? And what if we lifted the weight so many victims feel about their responsibility to somehow keep themselves safe and placed this responsibility instead squarely on the shoulders of those who might otherwise harm them?
Topics in this episode:
- Help Wanted prevention program (1:40)
- Google and Facebook get involved (7:24)
- Middle-school intervention (15:27)
- Online programs in the future? (23:15)
- Which prevention programs work? (24:47)
- Best practices for youth-serving organizations (28:01)
- What do we need next? (34:15)
- Federal focus needed (37:51)
- Contact Congress about funding research (44:14)
Elizabeth Letourneau, Ph.D., director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Responsible Behavior with Younger Children
National Center for Child Traumatic Stress
Bloomberg American Health Initiative website, framework and leadership desk guide
We interview Dr. Letourneau previously in “Child Abuse as a Public Health Issue” (aired 5/2/19)
Transcript to come.