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Sexual abuse is a public health issue that impacts everyone – individuals, communities, institutions, and society as a whole.  The prevention of sexual abuse requires a well-planned, comprehensive, interdisciplinary and evidence based approach.  Sexual offense specific strategies and policies should prevent sexual abuse and support the rehabilitation of perpetrators as this will promote long-term community safety.

ATSA is comprised of multi-disciplinary professionals such as psychologists, therapists, researchers, social workers, police officers, parole/probation officers, victim advocates, and lawyers.  The ATSA Public Policy Committee’s focus is to provide information and guidance on best practice standards related to the management and treatment of individuals who have sexually abused or are at risk to abuse.  This is accomplished by identifying, monitoring, and responding to trends, issues, and concerns related to the management, treatment, laws, and policies for individuals who have sexually abused or are at risk to abuse.  Given the devastating impact of sexual abuse, strategies must be informed by research, evaluation, and best practices to strengthen public safety. 

Interested in learning more?  The information below describes evidence based strategies that lead to the effective assessment, treatment and management of individuals who have sexually abused or are at risk to abuse.  The ATSA Public Policy Committee works diligently to stay current on policy changes and update this site accordingly.  However, policy changes often occur rapidly, so there can be a lag time for updates.  If you think a document is out of date, please contact us.

To access information, click on the category of interest for links to downloadable position papers, fact sheets, and other information related to each topic area.

Public Policy

This section includes guidance on effective public policy strategies (see A Reasoned Approach) for the prevention of sexual abuse, as well as legislative and court responses addressing best practice standards.

General Information

This section includes general information about sexual abuse as a public health issuesexual abuse and sexual offending, internet facilitated sexual offending, and special populations such as adolescentschildren, and intellectually disabled persons.

Sexual Offense Specific Treatment

This section includes information on sexual offense specific treatment for adult malespharmacological interventionsrisk assessment, working with intellectually disabled adults with problematic sexual behavior, working with children with sexual behavior problems, and internet facilitated sexual offending.

Management of Sexual Offenders

This section includes information about civil commitment and community management strategies, such as registration/notification and residence restrictions.


This section includes information and resource related to the prevention of sexual abuse and talking about prevention.


This section includes information regarding effective research practices related to participant protection, randomized clinical trials, and randomized control trials.

Media Resources

This section includes information about sexual abuse, sexual offending, and prevention specifically designed for media professionals.

International Public Policy Resources

Although the Public Policy Committee focuses primarily on policy issues within the United States, we are working with the international membership of ATSA to identify relevant resources for international sexual offender treatment and management policy issues in other countries.