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Prevention, within the context of ATSA, refers to efforts to stop the perpetration of unhealthy, harmful, dangerous, and illegal sexually oriented behaviors and actions that victimize others.

The goal of prevention is to identify the factors that contribute to – and inhibit – sexual abuse, and use that information to stop sexual abuse before it can begin. These factors are often referred to as “risk” and “protective” factors for perpetration. It also is important to understand the risk and protective factors for victimization. A sound, comprehensive, prevention program enhances and assists protective factors and reduces (and in many cases, eliminates) the identified risk factors.