One of the tasks of Public Health Care in the United States is to promote and encourage healthy behaviors and mental health in the population. In the area of sexual abuse/assault this would include:
- Identifying child sexual abuse and sexual assault as public health problems helps acknowledge their negative impact on society as a whole.
- Showing sexual abuse and sexual assault have physical, mental, and financial costs to victims, their families, and the community.
- Emphasizing the value of efforts directed toward primary prevention of sexual assault and abuse. Such efforts will include interventions that target “at risk” groups, victims, and offenders.
- Involvement of a cross section of the community including parents, victim and offender advocates, treatment providers, health professionals, the media, and legislators. Collaboration among these groups increases their effectiveness.
- Focusing on an Accountability Model that emphasizes that despite many antecedent contributing factors the individualis responsible for his/her bad or illegal actions.
- Making the sex offender accountable by highlighting the importance of treatment and recognizing the role of jail time for some offenders to help make the community safer.
- Promoting the public health approach through education, advocating for increased monies for interventions and research, and designing and putting into action a local community-based model.