The Help Wanted Prevention Intervention is a tertiary prevention course to address the needs of individuals with sexual interest in prepubescent and early pubescent children. Help Wanted aims to provide helpful knowledge and resources to support individuals’ in living safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
Type of intervention
Online, tertiary prevention intervention
Target group/s, level/s of prevention and sub-group/s
Individuals with a sexual interest in prepubescent and early pubescent children/online, primary prevention intervention/English with transcripts in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi and Spanish
Individuals with a sexual interest in children
The program was developed by the faculty and staff at the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse in collaboration with other national and international experts, people with sexual interest in children, and survivors of child sexual abuse. Help Wanted is supported by the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, RALIANCE, and The Oak Foundation.
Mode and context of delivery
Help Wanted is a free, online, self-paced intervention.
Level/Nature of staff expertise required
Help Wanted can be accessed online. No staff are required.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
Help Wanted is a self-paced intervention. Help-seekers can access the intervention content in any order they choose and stop and return to the intervention at any time.
Description of intervention
Help Wanted was designed as a place where individuals with a sexual interest in children can find information, tools, and resources to support them as they build safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
Help Wanted consists of:
- Welcome page to introduce the goals and core values of Help Wanted
- Help Wanted Course consisting of five sessions
- Resource Page with session transcripts available in six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi and Spanish), as well as external resources for mental health concerns, suicide prevention, and child sexual abuse prevention.
The Help Wanted Course:
The Help Wanted course contains five sessions approximately ten minutes each in length. Each session contains didactic videos to share information, examples to support the information shared (e.g., informative graphics, testimonials), and interactive practice segments (e.g., drag-and-drop activities, open-ended questions).
- What is child sexual abuse? This session aims to increase knowledge of child sexual abuse and its effects on victims and on those who perpetrate child sexual abuse.
- Coping with your sexual attraction. This session provides information about short- and long-term coping strategies for immediate and lifelong management of intense emotions or the attraction.
- Building a positive self-image. The goal of this session is to walk help-seekers through ways to identify their key strengths and learn tools to leverage these strengths to build and maintain a positive self-image.
- Building a healthy sexuality. The goal of this session is to increase help-seekers’ knowledge about sexuality and tools to build a healthy sexuality. Strategies are also included for developing fulfilling intimate (but non-sexual) relationships with peers.
- Telling someone about your attraction. The goal of this session is to provide help-seekers with the knowledge and skills to think through the “who, what, when, where, and why” of disclosing their attraction to someone else. Tips are provided to assist help-seekers in navigating these difficult conversations.
A research study is currently in progress to collect feedback on the content, approach and tone of the Help Wanted site and course. Interviews are being conducted with help-seekers and treatment providers. This project is funded by The University of Massachusetts – Lowell.
A randomized controlled trial is in progress to examine the effectiveness of the Help Wanted course. This project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Shields, R. T., Murray, S. M., Ruzicka, A. E., Buckman, C., Kahn, G., Benelmouffok, A., & Letourneau, E. J. (2020). Help wanted: Lessons on prevention from young adults with a sexual interest in prepubescent children. Child abuse & neglect, 105, 104416. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104416
Help Wanted can be accessed at:
Information correct at March 2021