Learning from reviews – Intra-familial Child Sexual Abuse
Intra-familial child sexual abuse refers to child sexual abuse (CSA) that occurs within a family environment. Perpetrators may or may not be related to the child. The key consideration is whether the abuser feels like family from the child’s point of view.
Around two-thirds of all CSA reported to the police is perpetrated by a family member or someone close to the child.
Where research has recorded the gender of perpetrators of Intra-familial child sexual abuse, the vast majority have been found to be male, although abuse by women does occur. In around a quarter of cases, the perpetrator is under 18.
Learning from recent reviews have shown that perpetrators may or may not be categorised as a person posing a risk to children. Perpetrators are often unseen or seen as caring, respectful, loving and important to the family dynamics, there is no type. Perpetrators are also coercive, manipulative and very adept at grooming not just the child but the professionals working with that child.
- Around 90% of all CSA reported to the police is perpetrated by a family member or someone close to the child.
- With perpetrators of intra-familial Child Sexual Abuse, the vast majority have been found to be male, although abuse by women does occur. In around a quarter of cases, the perpetrator is under 18 years of age.
- There are nearly 13 million children in England and Wales, each of whom needs and deserves to be protected from harm. Babies, toddlers and children are all at risk of Intra-familial child sexual abuse,
- Current estimates indicate that 1 in 6 girls and 1 in 20 boys experience child sexual abuse before the age of 16. In March 2020, the Office for National Statistics estimated that 3.1 million adults in England and Wales had experienced sexual abuse before the age of 16.
Disclosures dont happen very often as children are often afraid, hurt, feeling its their fault, afraid they will get their familiy into trouble or someone they love into trouble. Disclosures are so very hard to do, so we need to make those opportunities easier, spot the signs, understand behaviours, look at historical information, consider a whole family approach, seek information and discuss with colleagues to build the evidence we need to make those opportunities happen. Question everything, think critically and challenge assumptions.
Child Sexual Abuse in the family is linked to a range of negative outcomes over the whole life course of that child, including poorer physical and mental health, lower income, relationship difficulties and further violence and abuse.
Free Intra-familial Child Sexual Abuse Training is available on the boards website here. This training is supplied by the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse.
Dedicated Staffordshire training will be available soon. More information will be in the newsletter.
For more information about learning from reviews please dont hesitate to contact Jude.email@example.com