Preventing sexual abuse and assault

Judith V. Becker, Daniel W. Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This article reviews prevention of sexual abuse and assault from a public health approach. The public health approach identifies three levels of prevention: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Several programs are reviewed in the area of primary prevention. The article discusses the efficacy of different approaches. Information from offenders and victims is reviewed to gain insight into primary prevention approaches. Review of innovative approaches to secondary prevention are introduced. This section focuses on changing the behavior of potential offenders rather than changing the behavior of potential victims. Special consideration is given to the role of alcohol in abuse and possible prevention strategies to reduce abuse risk by reducing high-risk alcohol use. Discussion of intervention strategies and offender characteristics are reviewed to address tertiary prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-278
Number of pages12
JournalSexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol abuse
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Primary prevention
  • Secondary prevention
  • Sexual offending
  • Tertiary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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