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Opinion | We need to prevent child sex abuse, not just respond to it

Opinion | We need to prevent child sex abuse, not just respond to it #Opinion #prevent #child #sex #abuse #respond. Here is what we have for you today on TmZ Blog.

Over the past two decades, a grand jury in Pennsylvania issued a report alleging that more than 300 priests in six dioceses abused 1,000 children over seven decades. And we’ve seen high-profile sexual abuse cases at Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and Penn State.

We’re still waiting until kids are harmed to respond. For more than 30 years, we’ve relied almost solely on after-the-fact approaches to address child sexual abuse. In this same time, we made major inroads in the prevention of child physical abuse, child neglect, bullying and adolescent suicide. We have dozens of evidence-based, effective prevention interventions for these types of childhood victimizations. We need the same for child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse is a preventable public health problem. Until our nation puts serious resources into the development, evaluation and dissemination of prevention efforts, we will stay trapped in a cycle of abuse, outrage and disbelief.

Elizabeth J. Letourneau, Baltimore

The writer is director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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