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The past four decades have seen increasing public and professional awareness of child sexual abuse. Congruent with public health approaches to prevention, efforts to eliminate child sexual abuse have inspired the emergence of prevention initiatives which can be provided to all children as part of their standard school curriculum. However, relatively little is known about the scope and nature of child sexual abuse prevention efforts in government school systems internationally. This paper assesses and compares the policies and curriculum initiatives in primary (elementary) schools across state and territory Departments of Education in Australia. Using publicly available electronic data, a deductive qualitative content analysis of policy and curriculum documents was undertaken to examine the characteristics of child sexual abuse prevention education in these school systems. It was found that the system-level provision occurs unevenly across state and territory jurisdictions. This results in the potential for substantial inequity in Australian children’s access to learning opportunities in child abuse prevention education as a part of their standard school curriculum. In this research, we have developed a strategy for generating a set of theoretically-sound empirical criteria that may be more extensively applied in comparative research about prevention initiatives internationally.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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