How Much Child Sexual Abuse is “Below the Surface,” and Can We Help Adults Identify it Early?
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes following participation in the ESPACE parents' workshop. A group of 55 parents who participated in the program, implemented in elementary schools in the Quebec city region, was compared to a group of 217 parents who did not attend the prevention workshop. The results revealed that attending parents suggested more adequate interventions to the vignette depicting a hypothetical situation of sexual abuse compared to nonattending parents. Attending parents are found to be more likely to suggest interventions sustaining the child in her own problem-solving process, seek help from specialized agencies, and attempt to offer emotional support to the victim. Data also reveal that the parents workshop has a positive outcome on knowledge. While the workshop is associated with beneficial outcomes, attendance rates are low. The findings are discussed in the context of identifying means to foster parent involvement in the prevention of child abuse.