Childhood physical and sexual abuse is a major public health problem that has devastating, long-term effects on children, if not addressed. School based prevention programs are a viable solution to address this problem. However, the majority of research has focused on school based sexual abuse prevention programs. Very few studies have included prevention programs that combine physical and sexual abuse into a single abuse prevention program. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Play it Safe!® program, a school-based physical and sexual abuse prevention program intended to increase the likelihood that children will recognize abusive situations, learn how to respond to potentially abusive situations and report the abuse to someone who can help stop the abuse. Analyses of pilot data suggest that Play it Safe!® increases elementary school children’s understanding of physical and sexual abuse concepts as mean pre- and post-test scores revealed overall gains in physical and sexual abuse knowledge across kindergarten through fifth grade. In addition, differences in mean pre- and post-test scores were statistically significant at all grade levels except for kindergarten. Child abuse has far reaching consequences that can affect children’s immediate and long-term wellbeing. Continuing to find effective ways to prevent child abuse is paramount and has clear benefits to individuals as well society.
Blakey, Joan M. and Thigpen, Jeffry W.
"Play it Safe!®: A School-Based Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse Prevention Program,"
Journal of Adolescent and Family Health: Vol. 7
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholar.utc.edu/jafh/vol7/iss1/5