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Lessons learned from child sexual abuse research: prevalence, outcomes, and preventive strategies

Delphine Collin-Vézina1*, Isabelle Daigneault2 and Martine Hébert3

Author Affiliations

1 School of Social Work, McGill University, 3506 University Street, room 321A, Montreal (QC), Canada H3A 2A7

2 Psychology Department, Université de Montréal, P.O. Box 6128, Downtown Station, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7

3 Sexology Department, Université du Québec à Montréal, P.O. Box 8888, Downtown Station, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8

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Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2013, 7:22  doi:10.1186/1753-2000-7-22

Published: 18 July 2013


Although child sexual abuse (CSA) is recognized as a serious violation of human well-being and of the law, no community has yet developed mechanisms that ensure that none of their youth will be sexually abused. CSA is, sadly, an international problem of great magnitude that can affect children of all ages, sexes, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic classes. Upon invitation, this current publication aims at providing a brief overview of a few lessons we have learned from CSA scholarly research as to heighten awareness of mental health professionals on this utmost important and widespread social problem. This overview will focus on the prevalence of CSA, the associated mental health outcomes, and the preventive strategies to prevent CSA from happening in the first place.

Child sexual abuse; Review; Prevalence; Mental health outcomes; Prevention