Sexual abuse of children often goes unreported. Sometimes the child fears that reporting the crime will cause their abuser to hurt them further, and sometimes the child does not understand that what is happening to them is illegal, and that they are not to blame for the abuse.
Methods of educating children on what is sexual abuse, and how to report the abuse have been implemented in some schools.

Statistics of Child Sexual Abuse

It has been estimated that one in ten girls around the world, and one in twenty boys around the world will be victims of child sexual abuse. These children are more likely to be abused sexually as they grow into adults, and they are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, develop eating disorders, become depressed or become suicidal. Researchers want to see if educating children in school about the effects of child sexual abuse and how to report sexual abuse will reduce the number of children affected by these heinous acts.
Researchers examined published papers concerning 6,000 children ranging in ages from elementary school children to high school aged children. Of the children that were studied 14 out of every 1000 children who were educated on sexual abuse and prevention reported some sort of sexual abuse. In children who were not educated in sexual abuse and prevention only four in one thousand children reported instances of abuse.

Community Support needed

The schools need the communities to get behind the educational programs. If parent groups and organizations support the sexual abuse education training in the schools more children will be able to learn about what this abuse is, and how to report it. All children need to be taught that sexual contact between a child and adult is inappropriate, and that the adult is the one at fault for the contact.

Methods Used To Teach about Child Abuse

Some of the schools had a single session that lasted about forty five minutes in which they instructed the children on child sexual abuse topics, and how to prevent child sexual abuse. Some of the other schools broke the sessions up into eight sessions that lasted about twenty minutes each day.

Content of the Sessions

The content that was provided to the children was basically the same. The children were instructed on what parts of their bodies were considered private, and they were instructed on how to tell the difference between certain touches. They were instructed on what types of secrets were bad to keep, and they were taught about who they should talk to if anyone violated their sense of privacy, or made them feel uncomfortable in a sexual manner.

Instructional Formats used

The sessions were taught in many different ways. There were coloring books that approached the topics, videos, songs, comic books, games and puppets. The children were encouraged to role play and to practice saying no and talking to someone about sexual abuse.

Further Information Needed

There is no way to gauge how well the sexual abuse programs are working without following some of the children throughout their lives and documenting what occurs to them. Sexually abused children often grow up to be troubled adults so information would need to be gathered from the children after they become adults to determine the differences the sexual abuse education classes had in their lives.