Preventing child sexual abuse material offending: An international review of initiatives

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This study reviews initiatives that aim to prevent child sexual abuse material (CSAM) offending, including evidence of effectiveness. Information was sourced via a literature search and input from an international expert advisory group. The study identified 74 initiatives in 16 countries, and 34 eligible studies measuring implementation and effectiveness.

The CSAM offending prevention initiatives identified in the study include helplines, therapeutic treatment and psychoeducation, online self-management courses, education and awareness campaigns, and other forms of support. Importantly, findings indicate that media and social media campaigns have successfully reached large numbers of offenders, both detected and undetected. While outcomes of programs are mixed, findings indicate that prevention initiatives can encourage help-seeking, reduce risk factors for offending, enhance protective factors, and reduce contact sexual offending against children. Findings also suggest that initiatives aimed at contact child sexual abuse offenders are not necessarily effective in reducing CSAM offending. Evaluations of initiatives aimed specifically at CSAM offending show promise but are limited methodologically. Further and more robust evaluations are required to determine their effect on CSAM use.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Key terms and definitions
  • Abstract
  • Executive summary
    • Methodology
    • A review of initiatives
    • A review of the evidence
    • Discussion
  • Introduction
    • The link between CSAM offending and contact sexual offending
    • Offending and harmful behaviours among specific populations
    • Efforts to target CSAM offending in Australia
    • Findings from earlier reviews
    • The current study
    • Structure of this report
  • Methodology
    • Search of websites and literature
    • Advisory group
    • Limitations
  • A review of initiatives
    • Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention
    • Types of initiatives
    • Programs for specific populations
  • A review of the evidence
    • Quality of studies reviewed
    • Findings from process evaluations
    • Findings from outcome evaluations
    • Effectiveness of prevention initiatives among specific populations
  • Discussion
    • A review of initiatives
    • A review of the evidence
    • Concluding remarks
  • References
  • Appendix