Virtual Delivery of A School-Based Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program: A Pilot Study

Kate Guastaferro, Jacqueline L. Holloway, Jessica Trudeau, Lauren B. Lipson, S. Sunshine, Jennie G. Noll, Mary L. Pulido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Universal child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention is a public health priority. The prevailing prevention strategy is school-based CSA prevention programming. School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for flexible modes of delivery, including virtual programs. This pilot examined the virtual delivery of an evidence-based, school-based CSA prevention program, Safe Touches, designed to teach CSA-related knowledge and concepts. Using mixed methods, the pilot sought to determine the feasibility of the virtually delivered CSA prevention program. One school district that had previously received Safe Touches in-person participated. A total of 176 second grade students participated in the virtual workshop. Post-workshop survey responses from virtual (N = 37) and in-person workshops (N = 60) were compared descriptively. Mean item scores and response patterns from students who received the virtual workshop were nominally comparable to the student scores from the in-person workshop. Following the virtual workshop, one teacher notified the research team of a disclosure of CSA. Qualitative input from the facilitator and school staff was positive, indicating high student engagement. Results suggest the viability and feasibility of virtual school-based CSA preventive programs. Investment in virtual modes of delivery would ensure all students have access to CSA prevention programming in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-592
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022


  • Child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • implementation
  • prevention
  • virtual delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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