Stand Strong Walk Tall

Database Filters

Type of intervention     

‘Prehabilitation’ prevention and support services.   

Target group/s, level/s of prevention and sub-group/s:   

Secondary prevention service for adults who experience sexual attraction to children.  

Target population    

Adults who are attracted to minors (MAPs). 

Delivery organisation     

Stand Strong, Walk Tall is a, New Zealand based research collaborative. Their research aims are to develop programmes which prevent child sexual abuse before the event by working to support MAPs. They are supported by the Advancing Sexual Abuse Prevention who has a research focus on clinical and forensic psychology.

Mode and context of delivery  

Clients can self-refer to the Stand Strong, Walk Tall programme for face-to-face (or video contact) therapeutic support regarding their MAP status. The support process has been developed with consideration of cognitive behavioural theory and therapy; needs-risk-responsivity analysis; the Good Lives Model; trauma informed care; Hauora Maori Clinical Guide and the self-regulation process model.

Level/Nature of staff expertise required    

Qualified psychologists who have completed the Stand Strong, Walk Tall training course.   

Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)    

Flexible according to the service user’s individual needs.   

Description of intervention 

Generally delivered as one-to-one, therapeutic support for MAPs to enable self-regulation and wellbeing which in turn helps to prevent child sexual abuse.

Interventions follow a series of modules below. Those in bold are core modules:

  • Assessment
  • Collaborative intervention goal setting
  • Understanding and living with my attraction
  • Understanding harmful sexual behaviour
  • Strengthening skills
  • Managing my sexual interests and finding pleasure
  • Strengthening adult sexual interest (if non-exclusive MAP)
  • Processing grief (if exclusive MAP)
  • Building better relationships with adults
  • Good life planning
  • Post-intervention assessment

Stand Strong, Walk Tall has identified a series of key intervention targets. As the nature of the programme is individualised these will be decided on a case-by-case basis with the service user in consideration of their desired outcomes:

  • Reinforce/strengthen commitment to an offence-free life
  • Address maladaptive thoughts/schemas surrounding child sexual abuse
  • Strengthen general self-regulation, emotion management, and coping with stress
  • Build self-efficacy and a prosocial identity
  • Strengthen general empathy skills
  • Strengthen sexual self-regulation
  • Reduce sexual interest in minors (if interests do not exclusively relate to children)
  • Strengthen adult sexual interests (if interests do not exclusively relate to children)
  • Enhance understanding of minor-attraction and promote self-acceptance
  • Explore stigma and strategies to navigate stigma
  • Strengthen skills for adult intimate relationships
  • Good life planning  


Pilot studies are currently in evaluation and development in Norway and New Zealand  


Christofferson, S., Willis, G., Cording, J., & Waitoki, W. (2020). Stand Strong, Walk Tall: Prehabilitation for a Better Future - A Sexual Abuse Prevention Project. Phase One: Intervention Development. Retrieved from   

Contact details     


Email: Dr Glenda Willis (University of Auckland)

RATING: Pioneering