Commissioned research

Creating safer futures: raising public awareness of child sexual abuse among young adults through digital storytelling

  • Children & young people
  • Community awareness
  • Prevention
Project Length
24 months
Project Budget
(funded by National Centre)
Funding Stream

Project Lead

Associate Professor Katie Wright, La Trobe University

Project Team

Sari Braithwaite, La Trobe University

Emeritus Professor Valerie Braithwaite, Australian National University

Dr Danny Taggart, University of Essex

Emeritus Professor Shurlee Swain, Australian Catholic University

Background and Aim

This project investigates how people can be encouraged to engage with difficult topics when the urge is to turn away. This will identify a new approach to raising awareness among young adults about child sexual abuse by creating a storytelling prototype suited to the digital media age. A key objective is to find novel ways of having difficult conversations about child sexual abuse as a preventative strategy, a tool of de-stigmatisation, and as a way of supporting victims and survivors and recognising their valuable contributions to child safety. This project brings together advocates, academics from sociology, history and psychology, and specialists from the creative industries.


This project employs an interdisciplinary, mixed-methods and participatory research design. It includes a survey with survivor advocates, a workshop to design a digital storytelling prototype, and a survey with tertiary education students to measure engagement and evaluate the impact of the storytelling tool.


This project will generate new knowledge about raising awareness of child sexual abuse in ways that are victim-centred, trauma-informed, strength-based and collaborative. A fact sheet aimed at researchers and the creative industries will be developed to provide guidance on working ethically and sensitively with victim and survivors.

Related posts: 
  • Children & young people
  • Community awareness
  • Prevention
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