Child sexual abuse is a topic that can sometimes close us off to listening because it is such an emotional topic. However, we must overcome these reactions and the aversion to these topics if we hope to prevent it, particularly if we aim to prevent it before it happens. Part of prevention is knowing the facts, but another part of prevention is using the facts to put systems in place to ensure that sexual abuse cannot happen before it does. Primary prevention is a vast and complex area of sexual abuse prevention, but protecting children is worth understanding them.
One of the first things to understand about preventing child sexual abuse is that there is no profile for sexual abusers. What this means is that abusers can come from any profession, any sexuality, any religion, can be any age (including teenagers and children), and any social status.
There is no way to predict, based on who someone is, if they are an abuser or a potential abuser. There are, however, behavioral signs you can watch for and a way to have conversations with people you may be concerned about, as well as plans that individuals and families can put in place and ways to teach children that they have a right to their body. There are also systemic prevention steps that can be taken, and ways to educate children about sexual topics.