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Finkelhor (1999) proposes three reasons why children are vulnerable to victimization within society. Firstly, children are small and dependent on adults for their survival. Secondly, society does not do as much to protect children as adults. “Society has a powerful institutional system that’s organized to protect people from victimization. ….Much of what children experience is outside the domain of this system” (pg. 1) “Finally, children have little say in who they associate with.” (pg. 1)
Johnson (1995) suggests that Finkelhor's (1984) pre-conditions for sexual abuse provide us with a theoretical framework for most primary prevention interventions. Finkelhor describes four pre-conditions for sexual abuse to occur. These could be seen as the framework for all three levels of abuse prevention. The first pre-condition is that the individual adult is motivated to sexually abuse the child. The second pre-condition is overcoming the internal inhibitors that are hypothesised to inhibit a number of abusers from carrying out the abuse they are motivated to commit: they perceive it to be not acceptable socially. The third pre-condition is the overcoming of the external inhibitors that are factors in place that restrict access of the abuser to the child. It is within this pre-condition that recent legislation can be placed. These forms of legislation have included:
- Ombudsman Act 1974;
- Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection)Act 1998;
- Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998; and
- Child Protection (Prohibited Employment)Act 1998 (Lindsay, 1999).
The final pre-condition is overcoming the child’s resistance. As discussed, it is in relation to this pre-condition that the recent changes to child abuse prevention programs, with their inclusion in the New South Wales K-12 syllabus material and the expectations that personal safety programs are a systemic requirement, are best placed.
In NSW The Department of Community Services provides a range of services to support children and families. These are further supported by other government and non-government agencies
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