University of Alberta study focuses on program aimed at stopping child sex abuse

Little Warriors' vision has been to build a first of its kind treatment centre for children, to help prevent, recognize and react to child sexual abuse. Global News

A study conducted by the University of Alberta and Little Warriors on a program focused on improving adults attitudes, knowledge and behaviour has had positive results.

READ MORE: Be Brave Ranch cuts PTSD symptoms by 25% in child sexual abuse victims: clinical trials

Little Warriors is an organization that offers support, resources and counselling to children who have suffered sexual abuse.

The study shows the Prevent It! program, developed by U of A researchers Little Warriors, has had improvements in areas surrounding behaviour, knowledge and attitudes regarding child sexual abuse when researchers did a three-month follow up.

  • The number of participants in the program looking for evidence of child sexual abuse increased from 46 per cent to 81 per cent
  • The number of people who took steps to protect children increased from 25 per cent to 48 per cent
  • There was an overall increase of accurate knowledge about the issue
  • The amount of recommended organizational prevention strategies being used tripled

The study was based on 312 participants.

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The Prevent It! workshop educates adults on ways to help prevent child sexual abuse by focusing on studying, talking, observing, and preparing for action.

Studies estimate one in three girls and one in six boys will experience sexual abuse. Ninety-five per cent of victims will know their perpetrator and the same percentage of cases will go unreported.

“It is not the child’s responsibility to prevent these acts from occurring. It is our responsibility as adults and this workshop increases our potential for success,” Little Warriors founder and chair Glori Meldrum said.

WATCH: Government visit to Be Brave Ranch seen as positive step by Little Warriors

The Prevent It! workshop is available in person or online, and can be booked through Little Warriors.

In 2015, the organization opened the Be Brave Ranch, a facility outside Edmonton dedicated to helping children between the ages of eight and 12 who have been sexually abused.

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