Sex abuse prevention programs: Offenders' attitudes about their efficacy

Lee Eric Budin, Charles Felzen Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Little scientific basis exists for the content of school-based programs which are intended to help children protect themselves from sexual abuse. Children are taught about protecting themselves from a stereotypical old male stranger, yet perpetrators are most frequently young, known to the victim, and use a variety of methods to gain access to children. Programs generally include concepts of body ownership, acceptable touching, good vs. bad secrets, saying no, telling, and trusting one's intuition. Seventy-two prison inmates incarcerated for child sexual abuse were surveyed to evaluate their attitudes about the effectiveness of topics intended to prevent abuse. Offenders described the ideal victim and the modus operandi they used to involve children. Inmates indicated which topics in prevention programs they believed were efficacious and which topics would have little value in preventing abuse. Responses of incestuous and nonincestuous abusers were compared. Inmates indicated that parents could help prevent child abuse and that they must be involved if programs are to be effective. Information from abusers is useful and can be incorporated into programs if the potential for prevention of abuse is to be improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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