Welcome to the ECSA project

Welcome to the ECSA project
Working to prevent child sexual abuse across the world

This website is a free international prevention toolkit for practitioners and policy makers committed to tackling child sexual abuse. It can be used by a nation, area or region to develop a considered, credible and culturally-appropriate strategy for the prevention of child sexual abuse.

The toolkit will guide you through the process of creating a child sexual abuse prevention strategy and build a plan to prevent child sexual abuse based on your understanding of the place you are in and the particular problems children face.

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What is the ECSA project?

Across the world people are grappling with the problem of child sexual abuse and what to do about it. Some countries have invested heavily in support for past victims and in prosecuting and punishing offenders. Others have been “going upstream”, trying to work out what can be done to stop children from being abused and to stop (potential) perpetrators before they have done harm.

Some places have created ways to keep children safe that others can learn from. And that is why we created ECSA.

Child sexual abuse is a worldwide problem.  While estimates of prevalence vary between countries, around 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will have experienced contact sexual abuse by the age of eighteen. It makes sense that if some of the solutions have been found, these need to be shared as widely as possible, so that others can work out if they might help in their situation. From experience there are lots of similarities and lots of differences in child sexual abuse from place to place. So some solutions might work in one place and not in another. Most interventions or programmes will need to be adapted to the local context anyway.

This toolkit aims to help you to build a plan to prevent child sexual abuse – based on your understanding of the place you are in and the particular problems children face. Then, based on that understanding and an understanding about how abusers operate, it helps you consider what is known about prevention. This is to help you decide, with others, what a good plan for prevention might look like. The biggest part of the site is made up of the programmes and interventions listed and described under 'interventions'.

There are lots of interventions listed, but many more to be discovered. No one of these will be a sufficient solution to the problem of child sexual abuse in your area and any intervention will need to be adjusted to make it useful in a place that is different from where it was designed and used. But a strategy for prevention that is based on an understanding of the problem, and that combines a number of different interventions, stands the best chance of keeping children safe wherever in the world you may be

We welcome any feedback – what did you find useful on the site, what was less useful, and how can we improve the site for others.

Together we can prevent child sexual abuse.