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Children's Perceptions of Personal Safety Issues and their Vulnerability to Molestation

  • Freda Briggs (a1) and Russell M.F. Hawkins (a2)


Interviews with children aged from 5 to 8 highlighted their vulnerability to molestation. This vulnerability is based in part on children's developmental levels. These include a limited capacity for abstract thought which renders some well intentioned attempts at child protection ineffective. Designers need to consider these developmental limitations when they develop child protection programs. Common parenting practices are also implicated in the perpetuation of children's vulnerability. These practices make it unlikely that a child would have the confidence to report adult-initiated sexual misbehaviour to a parent. Education is necessary to inform parents about ways in which they can reduce children's vulnerability by changing their own practices.


Corresponding author

Prof. F. Briggs, De Lissa Institute of Early Childhood & Family Studies, Lorne Avenue, Magill, SA 5072. Tel: 08 3024583 Fax: 08 302 4723


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Children's Perceptions of Personal Safety Issues and their Vulnerability to Molestation

  • Freda Briggs (a1) and Russell M.F. Hawkins (a2)


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