Call for papers Special Issue: Responding to child and adolescent sexual abuse - Advances and gaps in clinical practice

The purpose of this special issue is to bring forward the evidence on clinical interventions and practices in responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused. The special issue encourages researchers and practitioners to submit research findings, documentation of clinical practices, and evaluations of interventions in the following areas:

  • Barriers faced by children and adolescents who have been sexually abused in seeking help from professionals, including from health care providers, as well as interventions and practices to encourage timely care or help-seeking.
  • Short- and long-term health needs and impacts of child and adolescent sexual abuse.
  • Evaluations of interventions and practices that provide child or adolescent-centered psychosocial support and mental health care to survivors, particularly those that can be implemented and potentially scaled up in low-resource settings.
  • Trauma-informed and child or adolescent-centered practices for interviewing, conducting physical examination and documenting sexual abuse.
  • Interventions with, experiences and needs of, and barriers faced by girls and boys as well as across different age groups and among those facing discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or socio-economic status.
  • Practices for reporting child and adolescent sexual abuse including benefits and harms, effectiveness, preferences and wishes of children and adolescents and their caregivers and of duty bearers who have to report.
  • Capacity building efforts to improve skills of health care providers and creating an enabling environment for them to respond to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused.
  • Practices and interventions that have improved coordination and multi-sectoral collaboration between health care providers and other services (e.g. child protection, police, legal) in responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused.

Papers can include findings from primary data collection or evidence-synthesis by way of systematic reviews. Both qualitative and quantitative studies are encouraged to be submitted. We encourage papers that address some of the above mentioned topics particularly in low and middle income country settings. The special issue will also include papers on systematic reviews that were commissioned by WHO for its Clinical Guidelines on Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused, as well as a summary of research gaps identified in the process and a commentary.

Interested authors should submit an abstract (250 words) to the Editors that summarizes the proposed content of the paper. From these abstracts, articles will be selected for full submission. The proposal should also indicate whether the submission is meant to be a systematic review or research paper or other – both are welcomed.

Abstracts to be sent to Megin Reijnders (, copying Claudia Garcia-Moreno ( by March 15, 2018. [GMECM1] Authors of abstracts selected for submission of full papers will be notified by April 5, 2018. Full manuscripts will be due 15 July, 2018.