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“It’s Hard to Wrap Your Head Around”: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Child Maltreatment and Child Sexual Abuse in Alberta

People would rather not think about child sexual abuse - but they hold deep assumptions nonetheless. A map of public thinking helps us navigate them.
Andrew Volmert , Moira O’Neil , Marissa Fond
June 10, 2015

This multi-media report lays the groundwork for efforts to reframe child maltreatment, and child sexual abuse in particular, in the province of Alberta. By “mapping the gaps” between expert and public perspectives, the report identifies a set of key communications challenges to elevating support for effective ways of addressing child maltreatment. Key among these is the finding that members of the Albertan public view the causes of child sexual abuse as both unknowable and irremediable. The report concludes with a set of preliminary communications hypotheses to explore in future research.