PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF PROBLEMATIC AND HARMFUL SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR IN CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
This e-learning is developed by RVTS Mid-Norway along with REBESSA (Regional resource team on children and young people displaying problematic and harmful sexual behaviour) with the intention of raising the level of competence about healthy and normal sexuality in children and young people, as well as be a guide to managing cases with children and young people displaying problematic or harmful sexual behaviour. Knowledge about children’s sexuality can help lessen the risk of children developing sexually harmful behavioural patterns, in addition to ensure signs of violations and assault are discovered early, enabling the implementation of necessary measures.
Many adults may harbour reservations about entering an arena where the child or young person’s sexuality is so clearly on display. This is exactly why it is important we provide concrete ways of understanding and managing such cases. Children and young people who display problematic and harmful sexual behaviours usually have quite tangled and complex motivations, and interagency cooperation is necessary for managing this successfully.
There are several terms for sexual behaviour leading to concerns or injury. It is often appropriate to describe the behaviour or action as violating or abusive. What term should be used depends on the context and the purpose behind using it. In this guide the terms problematic and harmful sexual behaviour are mainly used about everything outside the realm of good and healthy sexuality in children. We still would like to encourage being conscious of your choice of words, both to nuance sexual actions between children and prevent stigmatization and unnecessary stress for those involved.
We encourage using the guide actively and to set aside time in professional meetings for discussion and reflection around prevention and management of sexual offences. Every school should make their own guidelines with the names and addresses of their collaborators. The school management is especially responsible for this.