Risk profiles for institutional child sexual abuse

A literature review synthesising the international evidence regarding risk and protective factors related to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts.

Authors: Keith Kaufman, Marcus Eroog, Kelly Stewart, Judith Zatkin, Erin McConnell, Hayley Tews, Professor Daryl Higgins

This literature review, commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, synthesises the international evidence regarding risk and protective factors related to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. Risk and protective factors are considered in relation to victims, perpetrators and institutional settings. The literature review focuses on five sectors: faith-based settings; early childhood education, care and schools; healthcare; out-of-home care; and sports programs.

The literature review highlights findings in relation to risk and protective factors regarding victims, perpetrators and institutions, as well as the role of prevention of institutional child sexual abuse. It reflects on the broad spectrum of prevention strategies, which can include awareness training directed at individuals, to more systematic, institution-wide efforts to examine environmental and situational conditions, and concludes that the most effective way to the reduce the risk of child sexual abuse in institutions, is to avoid dangerous practice, rather than attempt to screen out allegedly dangerous people.

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