Conversation article: Protecting children from abuse in organisations

Protecting children from abuse in organisations needs leadership and cultural change

Authors: Professor Daryl Higgins

In this article for The Conversation, Professor Daryl Higgins, Director of the ACU Institute of Child Protection Studies, discusses the vital role that leaders of institutions play in preventing child sexual abuse within their organisations, through implementing cultural change. Professor Higgins posits that if the prevention of child sexual abuse in organisations remains solely focused on screening, institutions will continue to fail children.

While pre-employment history and ‘suitability’ checks of volunteers and employees are necessary in organisations which have responsibility for children, these processes have limitations. Professor Higgins situates the discussion within ‘situational crime prevention’, which provides a lens for understanding how abuse of children occurs in institutions, and provides a foundation for developing effective prevention strategies through reducing opportunities for sexual offending.

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