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Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings

Date: Tuesday, 02nd May 2023 | Category: General

The CSA Centre has published a review of research on child abuse in institutional settings, which includes organisations working with children, young people and families in community settings, such as social care services, sports clubs and religious groups, as well as educational settings and hospitals.

Some of the key messages include:

  • Both boys and girls are at risk of abuse. Male victims tend to be more reluctant to disclose abuse for fear of being seen as “weak” rather than as “strong” in line with concepts of masculinity.
  • Perpetrators may use “grooming” techniques on their colleagues and a child’s or young person’s family to ensure access to victims and prevent detection.
  • Perpetrators often use charisma, status and popularity to build a reputation that deems them beyond question.

While rigorous recruitment processes play a significant role in protecting children from potential abusers, it is equally important to develop an institution-wide culture that promotes safeguarding as everyone’s responsibility, with clear boundaries set regarding interactions between adults and children or young people.