Good practice in responding to young people with harmful sexual behaviours: Key findings and future directions
This is an edited summary of key findings from ANROWS research “Good practice in delivering and evaluating interventions for young people with harmful sexual behaviours”.
Young people account for a significant proportion of individuals engaging in unwanted or harmful sexual behaviours against children. Many young people who engage in harmful sexual behaviours have their own history of childhood trauma, including exposure to domestic and family violence.
These young people require holistic interventions that involve specialist services and multiple partner agencies.
- There are variations and gaps in services for young people with harmful sexual behaviours, and information about service availability is not readily accessible.
- Specialist services operate in a complex environment that may make service provision challenging.
- Good practice in intervention is underpinned by conceptual, therapeutic and enabling principles.
- Factors in the broader service system may help or hinder good practice.
- A public repository of information about services available for young people with harmful sexual behaviours should be established.
- Practitioners should apply the principles of good practice developed by the project to therapeutic work with young people with harmful sexual behaviours.
- Funders should dedicate resources to collaborative research into tailoring therapeutic work to vulnerable young people.
- Service systems design should support holistic interventions.
ANROWS Research to policy and practice papers are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2020). Good practice in responding to young people with harmful sexual behaviours: Key findings and future directions (Research to policy and practice, 18/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.