Cost-benefit analyses have shown that prevention of many types of harmful behaviors, including sexual abuse, smoking and chemical abuse, pays off. Given our knowledge of the harm done by sexual abuse, our knowledge of the costs of sexual abuse, and the demonstrated effectiveness of appropriate prevention methods, why are we not investing in long term solutions?
Most organizations and governmental units are focused on a strong response after abuse occurs rather than on developing long-term approaches to prevent abuse. As demonstrated by recent (and seemingly endless) public scandals, sexual abuse continues to be a social problem. The current punishment after the crime is insufficient. In order to protect ourselves and our loved ones, we clearly need to invest in long term, creative prevention programs that target those at risk for sexual abuse and educate those in a position to intervene on early warning signs.