This theme includes the sub-themes of primary prevention and preventing recidivism. Research projects under this theme explore the following questions: 

  • How is child sexual abuse within an institutional context best prevented?

  • How do we decrease child vulnerability, prevent potential perpetrators from committing a first offence, prevent re-offending, treat offenders, make organisations more ‘child safe’, close systemic loopholes, and change community attitudes that enable child sexual abuse to occur?

  • What programs and strategies have been found to be effective in preventing child sexual abuse?

  • What is the logic that underpins common preventative strategies (eg protective behaviours)?


Project name

Conducting agency

Employment screening: legislation and prohibited employment schemes for each Australian state and territory

Conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies

Scoping review: Efficacy of pre-employment screening

Conducted by the Parenting Research Centre

Child sexual abuse prevention programs for pre-schoolers: A synthesis of current evidence

Conducted by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Evaluations of out-of-home care practice elements that aim to prevent child sexual abuse

Conducted by Dr Sandra South PhD, Professor Aron Shlonsky PhD, Dr Robyn Mildon PhD, Ms Anastasia Pourliakas, Ms Jessica Falkiner and Mr Adrian Laughlin

Key elements of child safe organisations: Research study

Conducted by the Parenting Research Centre

Grooming and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts

Conducted by Professor Patrick O'Leary, Emma Koh and Andrew Dare

Help-seeking needs and gaps for preventing child sexual abuse

Conducted by Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University 

Oversight and regulatory mechanisms aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse: Understanding current evidence of efficacy

Conducted by Queensland University of Technology

Rapid evidence assessment: Current best evidence in the therapeutic treatment of children with problem or harmful sexual behaviours, and children who have sexually offended

Conducted by Professor Aron Shlonsky, Bianca Albers, Dale Tolliday, Dr Sandra Jo Wilson, Jennifer Norvell and Lauren Kissinger