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Journal Article

Citation

Mathews B, Collin-Vézina D. J. Public Health Policy 2016; ePub(ePub): ePub.

Affiliation

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2016, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)

DOI

10.1057/jphp.2016.21

PMID

27171859

Abstract

Child sexual abuse is a major global public health concern, affecting one in eight children and causing massive costs including depression, unwanted pregnancy, and HIV. The gravity of this global issue is reflected by the United Nations' new effort to respond to sexual abuse in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The fundamental policy aims are to improve prevention, identification, and optimal responses to sexual abuse. As shown in our literature review, policymakers face difficult challenges because child sexual abuse is hidden, psychologically complex, and socially sensitive. This article offers new ideas for international progress. Insights about needed strategies are informed by an innovative multidisciplinary analysis of research from public health, medicine, social science, psychology, and neurology. Using an ecological model comprising individual, institutional, and societal dimensions, we propose that two preconditions for progress are the enhancement of awareness of child sexual abuse, and of empathic responses towards its victims.Journal of Public Health Policy advance online publication, 12 May 2016; doi:10.1057/jphp.2016.21.


Language: en

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