What works to prevent sexual violence against children

What works to prevent sexual violence against children

There are evidence-based, proven solutions to prevent sexual violence against children. Here we shine a light on some of the solutions being implemented around the world and talk to leading experts in the space.

From justice reform in Bolivia to laws against child marriage in India, these programs, policies, laws, and actions prove that solutions really do exist—and we all have a part to play in ending violence against children.

Interventions and solutions to prevent sexual violence against children


SASA! Initiative

An effective intervention focused on community mobilization programs to change attitudes, norms and behaviors with direct intervention at the community level

The 7 strategies for ending sexual violence against children

INSPIRE: Seven strategies for ending violence against children identifies a select group of strategies that have shown success in reducing violence against children. They are:

  • Implementation and enforcement of laws
  • Norms and values
  • Safe environments
  • Parent and caregiver support
  • Income and economic strengthening
  • Response and support services
  • Education and life skills

Interventions listed in this package will need to be adapted to meet a country or community’s specific conditions and characteristics. For further guidance on implementation considerations see the INSPIRE framework (page 82-90).

INSPIRE report

Broadly, there are several factors that are consistently raised as important for preventing sexual violence against children, regardless of the type of intervention:

National response integrated into broader protection systems for children and adolescents

Programs that are holistic and address the multiple factors that contribute to violence-supporting norms and behaviors, including gender stereotypes and gender-based discrimination

Programs that are developmentally appropriate and/or gender-specific

Programs targeting children that are delivered over several sessions, physically interactive, and participatory

Sexual violence against children and adolescents does not occur in isolation. It often intersects with other forms of gender-based violence and violence against children. Further, different forms of violence against children share common drivers and risk factors. Thus, holistic approaches that target all forms of violence are important to address these intersections, consider polyvictimization, and maximize the use of scarce resources. At the same time, the nuanced experiences of sexual violence also require focused interventions during specific points in the life course. Therefore, both holistic and focused approaches are important and should be complementary.