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Fam Community Health. 2008 Jan-Mar;31 Suppl 1:S24-31. doi: 10.1097/01.FCH.0000304015.67513.ea.

Advances in understanding and treating childhood sexual abuse: implications for research and policy.

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School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78701, USA.


Childhood sexual abuse is a major public health problem affecting thousands of children and adolescents in the United States each year. For more than 20 years, researchers, healthcare professionals, and policymakers have had considerable disagreements about various aspects of child sexual abuse. Although everyone agrees that sexual abuse is a harmful thing for children to experience, there is a lack of consensus on a definition of sexual abuse, investigation of allegations, long-term consequences, what constitutes appropriate psychotherapy, and what public health policies should be developed to prevent sexual abuse. The purpose of this article is to explore advances that have been made in understanding and treating child sexual abuse, to look at the implications for further research, and to address the public health policies that exist for preventing child sexual abuse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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