Being a Child Is a “Serious Game”: Innovations in Psychological Preventive Programs Against Child Sexual Abuse

Being a Child Is a “Serious Game”: Innovations in Psychological Preventive Programs Against Child Sexual Abuse

Valentina Manna (Association for Social Promotion Roots in Action, Italy) and Oscar Pisanti (Association for Social Promotion Roots in Action, Italy)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3958-2.ch011

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to analyze the main and most recent research trends for the prevention of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), by summarizing and discussing related theoretical and methodological issues, debated among scholars. Starting from European and International recommendations, the authors will focus on the most innovative approaches and prevention programs, by particularly exploring the necessity to reinforce children's ability to self-protect, the need for involving trusted adults in prevention programs, and the possibility to adopt serious games as innovative and child-appropriated tools to this end.
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Background

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a form of violence with an alarming prevalence all over the world (Muller, Röder and Fingerle,2014); unfortunately, more than a half-million children are abused sexually each year (Renk, Liljequist, Steinberg, Bosco & Phares, 2002; Finkelhor, & Dziuba- Leatherman, 1995). Reliable estimates of CSA prevalence are difficult to obtain because not all abuses are usually denounced (Fallon et al., 2010; Mathews, 2011): 38% of child victims are estimated to disclose they have been sexually abused, but 40% of them report the abuse to a friend instead of adult figures or services (Ullman, 2007; Broman-Fulks et al., 2007). As a result, whereas two-thirds of children never report the abuse (London, Bruck, Ceci & Shuman, 2005), most disclosed cases are not reported to authorities (Wyatt, Loeb, Solis & Carmona, 1999), which investigate only the 55% of the CSA told by children and the 20% by school personnel (Sedlak et al., 2010).

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