“The risk is 20-30 percent lower. So, if we can teach young people how to plan and make responsible, careful decisions, we can also reduce the risk of them becoming victims of violence,” Amber L. Beckley says.
USA has programmes to help young people
In the US, there are a number of evidence-based programmes that show that families can have an impact by teaching children new behaviours and by helping them make better choices, Amber L. Beckley informs us.
Moreover, programmes also indicate that mentors, coaches, and teachers can help children assess risks and understand when they may be at risk.
According to Amber L. Beckley, one of the best programmes that directly relates to this study involves teaching young girls to understand and anticipate risks of sexual abuse. By being given information, young girls develop confidence in making the right decisions.
- So, there is evidence that programmes that try to help young people to become more careful and thoughtful decision-makers can be effective.
A lack of knowledge in Sweden
According to Amber, a lack of knowledge in Sweden means that different interventions and methods are not tested. Her ambition now is to try to gain more support for such programmes and for different groups to attend those, so that researchers could study the effects in different groups.
“Our findings suggest that it may be possible to reduce vulnerability to victimization by teaching young people responsible, thoughtful decision-making and how to plan. Furthermore, we show that it may be possible to identify vulnerability to victimization through psychosocial maturation assessment,” says Amber L. Beckley.