Most stories about child sexual abuse are breaking news: A popular coach is accused of molesting an athlete. Police announce the arrest of a dozen people caught in an online child pornography investigation.
So how do you move beyond reporting the basic facts of one case and tell more illuminating stories? Where can you find context and new story lines that will help your audience understand the risks – and what can be done to protect children?
Thanks to a grant from the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Journalism Center has produced new information to help. Sections include background on child sexual abuse and prevention; the characteristics and mental health treatment of people who offend; policy, law enforcement and prosecution; advice for reporting stories with care; and Q&As with leading experts. Each section features a topic overview, story ideas, sources and resources.
These backgrounders – covering the basics of child sexual abuse and prevention programs – are meant to help build your knowledge of child sexual abuse, which the American Medical Association has called a “silent epidemic.”
The links for this resource were last updated on Nov. 16, 2011. If you’d like to be alerted when new content is posted, e-mail us.
Sexual Offenders Who Target Children
Behavior and Measuring Risk
More Characteristics of Sexual Offenders: Pedophiles, Non-pedophiles, Juveniles
Tips and Story Ideas
Additional Sources and Resources
Wayne Bowers, former sex offender and director, Sex Offenders Restored through Treatment (SORT)
Linda Johnson, psychotherapist and executive director, Prevent Child Abuse–Vermont
Kristen Lombardi, investigative reporter, Center for Public Integrity
Larry Magid, co-director, ConnectSafely.org, and technology analyst,CBS News & CNET News
Robin Stone, author, "No Secrets, No Lies: How black families can heal from sexual abuse"
Taking a Story Beyond the Headlines
Making the Connection: Interviewing victims and other key sources
Proceeding with caution and sensitivity: Ethical and legal concerns
Fact/Fiction: Weeding out the rumors
Connecting with the Community: Educating the public
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