The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is establishing a new research center dedicated to the prevention of child sexual abuse. The Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse will promote a public health approach to prevent child sexual abuse, which will include research, policy analysis and education. The Moore Center is believed to be the first academic research center focused on the prevention of child sexual abuse.
“Our overarching goal is to move our nation’s response to child sexual abuse from a criminal justice orientation, focused on after-the-fact responses, to a more comprehensive approach that focuses significant resources on the prevention of child sexual abuse,” said Elizabeth Letourneau, PhD, founding director of the Moore Center and associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health. “Our goal is to bring public health expertise and perspectives to the complex policy issues related to the prevention of child sexual abuse.”
The Moore Center was established with a gift from Stephen G. Moore, MD, MPH, and his wife, Julia. Stephen Moore earned his master of public health degree from the Bloomberg School in 1993.
“We are grateful to Steve and Julia for their commitment to this important issue,” said Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Theirs is a transformational gift. The principles of prevention and population-based interventions have been successfully applied to a host of issues, such as injury and maternal mortality. It is past time to do the same for child sexual abuse prevention.”
Child sexual abuse affects approximately 27 percent of all women and 16 percent of all men in the U.S. In addition to the immediate trauma of experiencing sexual abuse, typically by someone trusted by and well known to the child, child sexual abuse is associated with increased risk for a wide range of subsequent problems such as anxiety and depressive disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and drug and alcohol disorders. Effectively preventing child sexual abuse would greatly reduce the mental health burden in the U.S.
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