American Journal of Dance Therapy

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 240–253 | Cite as

Moving to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse: Dance/Movement Therapy as Primary Prevention

  • Sarah E. CaseyEmail author


Child sexual abuse (CSA) has adverse effects on both the child and the community. While many therapists know of these effects through working with survivors, therapy can and should also be used as a primary prevention tool. Looking at the evolution of CSA prevention efforts, one can see that the field has begun to recognize the importance of community involvement as well as experiential learning. Dance/movement therapy (DMT) may provide the next horizon for addressing these aspects of prevention by building both individual and community resilience through movement and the body. This paper proposes a DMT CSA prevention program centered around three skill-building areas: body awareness, boundary awareness, and communication. Through work within these areas a dance/movement therapist can help individuals and communities begin to integrate their own body awareness with the goals of CSA prevention programs in a way that more fully addresses both the whole person and the whole picture of CSA.


Dance/Movement therapy DMT Body Movement Child sexual abuse CSA Primary prevention 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that the author has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Naropa UniversityBoulderUSA

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