Dr Vicky Nagy1
1Deakin University, Burwood, Australia
The conclusion of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse has provided Australia with recommendations to move forward in preventing child sexual abuse. Recommendation 6.1 outlines the need for the establishment and development of a national strategy to prevent child sexual abuse and Recommendation 6.2 outlines what this national strategy should encompass, including information and help-seeking services for people who are concerned about their own risk status to perpetrating child sexual abuse, or others who are concerned that someone they know may be an at-risk offender.
While programs exist elsewhere in the world to help prevent child sexual abuse perpetration, Australian state and territory efforts have focused on imprisonment, post-prison detention and sex offender registries in an attempt to prevent recidivism. Recent efforts to consider COSA (Circles of Support and Accountability) to reintegrate child sexual offenders back into their communities have begun and demonstrate the need for Australian jurisdictions to consider new alternatives to traditional methods of dealing with perpetration of this crime. International prevention programs aimed at self-identified or family or community identified at-risk offenders have shown success in the US, UK, Ireland, and Germany. One such program, the Stop It Now! UK and Ireland phone line and counselling service is one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
This paper will consider the possibilities of introducing such programs into Australian jurisdictions and what barriers may need to be overcome in order for perpetration prevention programs to receive community, political and criminal justice support in the coming years.
Vicky is a lecturer in criminology at Deakin University. Her research focuses on socio-legal responses to crime in historical and contemporary contexts. Her research has investigated sexual violence and abuse against adults and children, and women’s offending and imprisonment in Australia and the UK. She is also interested in researching prevention efforts of child sexual abuse