Child abuse is a global concern with millions of children growing up in toxic and dysfunctional family environments, regularly facing adversity and abuse. Experiencing abuse and neglect in childhood can have long lasting effects on brain development, psychological functioning, mental health, health risk behaviours, life expectancy and social functioning of both male and female survivors. The profound impact child sexual abuse has on victims, families and communities, demands that we prioritise both responses and prevention efforts. Data on what works and how we stop child abuse however remains limited, particularly in developing countries. This article provides a summary of some of the research done to date on the prevention of child abuse, specifically focusing on parenting interventions, drawing on findings from two systematic reviews of the literature commissioned by the Sexual Violence Research Initiative.
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