Towards the Prevention and Intervention of Child Sexual Abuse: Cross-cultural Explorations, Explanations and Impact Evaluations

Lead Research Organisation: University of Huddersfield


Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
Description On 28-29 April and 2-3 May 2011, 45 professionals from the Caribbean gathered at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Trinidad and Tobago, for a research and practice training focused on preventing child sexual abuse. This programme of advanced professional training was intended to advance knowledge and practice for the prevention of CSA and represented a collaborative initiative of UWI, The Centre for Applied Childhood Studies, UK and Stop It Now! This training programme drew on current research in the field of CSA and utilized contemporary evidence-based models of practice to build on professional knowledge and skills.

The overall objectives were:

1. To contribute to the continued professional development of practitioners in preventing CSA and responding to its effects.

2. To enhance research skills for investigating CSA and for planning and evaluating interventions to prevent abuse.

3. To share knowledge about empowerment-based models of CSA prevention and protection of children.

4. To explore the suitability and applicability of these models for Caribbean contexts.

The targeted participants comprised practising professionals from a range of public, private, NGO and faith-based social service agencies and psychologists, medical practitioners and school social workers.

The contextual framework for the training sessions was created on day one through the scholarly presentations of current research on CSA with particular emphasis on the strategies for transforming the research findings into media for intervention and prevention. On days two and three, several models of CSA prevention were introduced namely: the Public Health Model, the Family Group Conferencing Model for Child Protection, the Place2Be model (Primary School-based Counselling), and the Restorative Justice model. The format adopted for the delivery of the content of the programme readily facilitated full engagement, participation, interaction, debate and feedback. Focus on the objective of evaluating the feasibility of these models for the Caribbean context was steadily maintained by the statutory reflective exercises. Day four was dedicated to research practice, methods of inquiry, ethical responsibilities, evaluation and planning.

Based on papers presented and interactive panel discussions, the findings situated and grounded CSA prevention within the historical and contemporary legacies of practice models, legislative reforms and policy reformulations. Additionally, the role of parents, families and communities, media, youth organisations and faith-based groups was interrogated and debated with the view towards crafting partnerships among these constituents in preventing CSA and creating safer communities for our children. All of the presentations and training material were posted on the Stop It Now! website and are accessible to participants and the public, It is intended that this ready access to this data would encourage the participants to develop agency specific training modules and professional development programmes.

The collaboration resulted in a co-authored paper, 'Competing meanings of childhood and the social construction of child sexual abuse in the Caribbean' submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. It also resulted in the mentoring of early career researchers and the development of a research proposal on child protection, UBS Optimus Study on Protecting Children: Latin America 2011-2015. The proposal was unsuccessful.
Exploitation Route The findings could be translated into policy briefings and also e used to enhance services and practice in relation to child abuse and neglect
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Healthcare

Description Global Challenges Research Fund
Amount £4,003,000 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/P014240/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 12/2021
Description Making an impact on child abuse : establishing IMPACT Grenada 
Organisation Government of Grenada
Country Grenada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Out of this project, a plan has emerged to establish a new project which will translate what we know about child sexual abuse into what we do about it. The University of Huddersfield in partnership with the government of Grenada and local implementing partners, are proposing to establish a Research and Knowledge Transfer Project ? IMPACT Grenada which will translate the UNICEF CSA study into interventions to address the problem of child abuse in the Caribbean with a specific focus on child sexual victimisation. The project will be established in Grenada and will serve as a model for the Caribbean region with lessons learned being more widely applicable, such as the UK where current child protection systems do little to prevent abuse, are costly, overly bureaucratic and provide services to only a narrow group of beneficiaries.
Start Year 2012