It is estimated that worldwide at least one in 10 girls and one in 20 boys experience some form of sexual abuse in childhood.Those who are sexually abused as children are more susceptible to depression, eating disorders, suicidal behaviour and drug and alcohol problems later in life, and are more likely to become victims of sexual assault as adults.In many countries, children are taught how to recognise, react to and report abuse situations through school-based programmes designed to help prevent sexual abuse.

"Our review supports the need to inform and protect children against sexual abuse," said lead author Kerryann Walsh of the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.For the study, the team reviewed data from 24 trials in which a total of 5,802 children took part in school-based prevention programmes in the US, Canada, China, Germany, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey.

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