Body Safety Education Research


The Minnesota Children’s Alliance evaluated child sexual abuse prevention programs, commonly referred to as body safety education programs, for the elementary school setting. No perfect program exists, but available peer-reviewed research provides significant insight into program components that show the most promise for effective prevention education.

Program Evaluations

Brassard, M. R., & Fiorvanti, C. M. (2014). School-Based Child Abuse Prevention Programs. Psychology in the Schools, 52(1), 40–60.

Dake, J. A., Price, J. H., & Murnan, J. (2003). Evaluation of a child abuse prevention curriculum for third-grade students: Assessment of knowledge and efficacy expectations. Journal of School Health, 73(2), 76–82.

Dale, R., Shanley, D. C., Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., Lines, K., Pickering, K., & White, C. (2016). Empowering and protecting children by enhancing knowledge, skills and well-being: A randomized trial of learn to be safe with EmmyTM. Child Abuse & Neglect, 51, 368–378.

Davis, D. W., Pressley-McGruder, G., Jones, V. F., Potter, D., Rowland, M., Currie, M., & Gale, B. (2013). Evaluation of an innovative tool for Child sexual abuse education. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 22(4), 379–397.

Guastaferro, K., Felt, J. M., Font, S. A., Connell, C. M., Miyamoto, S., Zadzora, K. M., & Noll, J. G. (2020). Parent-focused sexual abuse prevention: Results from a cluster randomized trial. Child Maltreatment, 27(1), 114–125.

Hudson, K. (2017). Preventing child sexual abuse through education: The work of Stop it Now! Wales. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 24(1), 99–113.

Letourneau, E. J., Nietert, P. J., & Rheingold, A. A. (2015). Initial assessment of Stewards of Children program effects on child sexual abuse reporting rates in selected South Carolina counties. Child Maltreatment, 21(1), 74–79.

Mendelson, T., & Letourneau, E. J. (2015). Parent-focused prevention of child sexual abuse. Prevention Science, 16(6), 844–852.

Nurse, A. M. (2017). Knowledge and behavioral impact of adult participation in Child sexual abuse prevention: Evaluation of the protecting god’s children program. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 26(5), 608–624.

Stanley, N., Devaney, J., Kurdi, Z., Ozdemir, U., Barter, C., Monks, C., Edwards, R. T., Batool, F., Charles, J., Farrelly, N., Hayes, D., Millar, A., Thompson, T., Winrow, E., & Radford, L. (2023). What makes for effectiveness when starting early – learning from an integrated school-based violence and abuse prevention programme for children under 12. Child Abuse & Neglect, 139, 106109.

Wood, M., & Archbold, C. A. (2014). Bad touches, getting away, and never keeping secrets. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30(17), 2999–3021.

Wurtele, S. K., Kast, L. C., Miller-Perrin, C. L., & Kondrick, P. A. (1989). Comparison of programs for teaching personal safety skills to preschoolers. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57(4), 505–511.

Wurtele, S. K., Kast, L. C., & Melzer, A. M. (1992). Sexual abuse prevention education for young children: A comparison of teachers and parents as instructors. Child Abuse & Neglect, 16(6), 865–876.


Altafim, E. R., & Linhares, M. B. (2016). Universal violence and child maltreatment prevention programs for parents: A systematic review. Psychosocial Intervention, 25(1), 27–38.

Rispens, J., Aleman, A., & Goudena, P. P. (1997). Prevention of child sexual abuse victimization: A meta-analysis of school programs. Child Abuse & Neglect, 21(10), 975–987.

Rudolph, J. I., van Berkel, S. R., Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., Walsh, K., Straker, D., & Campbell, T. (2023). Parental involvement in programs to prevent child sexual abuse: A systematic review of four decades of research. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 152483802311564.

Topping, K. J., & Barron, I. G. (2009). School-based Child sexual abuse prevention programs: A review of effectiveness. Review of Educational Research, 79(1), 431–463.

Tutty, L. M. (2000). What children learn from sexual abuse prevention programs: Difficult Concepts and Developmental issues. Research on Social Work Practice, 10(3), 275–300.


Rudolph, J., & Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J. (2018). Reviewing the focus: A summary and critique of child-focused sexual abuse prevention. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 19(5), 543–554.

Toth, S. L., & Manly, J. T. (2011). Bridging Research and Practice: Challenges and successes in implementing evidence-based preventive intervention strategies for child maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 35(8), 633–636.

General Prevention

Cardazone, G., U. Sy, A., Chik, I., & Corlew, L. K. (2014). Mapping one strong ‘ohana: Using network analysis and GIS to enhance the effectiveness of a statewide coalition to prevent child abuse and neglect. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53(3–4), 346–356.

Finkelhor, D., Vanderminden, J., Turner, H., Shattuck, A., & Hamby, S. (2014). Youth exposure to violence prevention programs in a national sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(4), 677–686.

Kenny, M. C., & Wurtele, S. K. (2012). Preventing childhood sexual abuse: An ecological approach. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21(4), 361–367.

Zeuthen, K., & Hagelskjær, M. (2013). Prevention of child sexual abuse: Analysis and discussion of the field. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 22(6), 742–760.

Nation, M., Crusto, C., Wandersman, A., Kumpfer, K. L., Seybolt, D., Morrissey-Kane, E., & Davino, K. (2003). What works in prevention: Principles of effective prevention programs. American Psychologist, 58(6–7), 449–456.

Other Sources

Craig, E. (2021). Teaching safeguarding through books: A content analysis of child sexual abuse prevention books. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 31(3), 257–275.

Colvin, M. L., Thompson, H., & Miller, S. E. (2017). Comparing child maltreatment prevention and service delivery at the community level of practice: A mixed-methods network analysis. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 42(3), 327–344.