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Child Sexual Abuse

Date: Monday, 29th Apr 2024 | Category: General

Learning from on-going and published Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews highlight the prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse and in particular Intra-familial Child Sexual Abuse here in Staffordshire.

The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse demonstrate the scale nationally of Child Sexual Abuse in their infographic below


The report shows children are disproportionately likely to be victims of sexual offences making up 40% of all sexual offences when they only make up 20% of the population. Child sexual abuse is just as common as other forms of childhood abuse and where as there is more reporting of child sexual abuse, cases take longer to complete at court if at all.

Current estimates show that 15% of girls and young women are estimated to experience some form of sexual abuse before they reach 16 years of age compared to 5% of boys and young men, however, only one in eight victims come to the attention of the authorities. For girls facing sexual abuse this is predominately in the home environment whilst boys facing sexual abuse is more common by authority figures. For children living in care homes they are four times more likely of suffering child sexual abuse than those living with families or carers.

What can we do? Children from reviews tell us that professionals working with them need to make opportunities for them to talk as disclosures are so very hard and as a result don’t happen very often.  Find time to talk to children on their own, away from potential perpetrators who may be in the same environment. Ask where they would feel safe to talk, and avoid putting barriers in the way with corporate language, clothing, bags, clipboards, laptops and bags.

Listen to the child’s voice without words, their behaviour and demeanour and and build a picture of the child’s daily lived experience, family history and historical offences.  Consider the voice of the extended family and question the families explanations especially when normalising a situation you have concerns about.

Discuss with other professionals and build a fuller picture. Never walk away from a child you have concerns about because they don’t engage.

Free training is available from the Centre of Excellence in Child Sexual Abuse here and further training is being developed by SSCB. Ask yourself would you know what to do if a child disclosed to you and would you know how to be…

Recomendations for change: an NSPCC Learning Podcast series

A detailed exploration of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse final recommendations, and what they mean for professionals working with children.

Listen to the Podcast here

For more information about Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews training book your Level three course here

To find out more about Child Sexual Abuse, Forced Marriage, Abusive Head Trauma plus more visit the guidance section of the Boards website here

Download, share and watch the recent learning from reviews annimation