The Way Ahead: Prevention and Protection

Anne‐Marie McAlinden

in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583720
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191758263 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

The Way Ahead: Prevention and Protection

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This chapter underlines the need to broaden current discourses on the prevention of sexual offending against children beyond a narrow focus on ‘grooming’ towards the development of a wider public health approach to complement existing legal and policy frameworks. It argues that the widespread adoption of such an approach offers an effective and more realistic prospect of preventing and targeting child sexual abuse on a proactive basis by focusing on early intervention and reducing opportunities for abuse. The chapter begins with an examination of the theoretical literature on public health and preventive approaches. It then sets out a detailed programme of practical suggestions for informing future regulatory agendas on child protection and sex offender management, drawn from the primary research. This includes public education and awareness, early intervention, professional training, work with first-time offenders, and with families, and an integration of offender and victim perspectives.

Keywords: public health approach; primary prevention; secondary prevention; public education; public awareness; early intervention; professional training; first-time offenders; families; offender perspectives

Chapter.  10204 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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