Child sexual abuse has a long-term impact on the child lasting well into adulthood and potentially causing physical and psychological problems later in life (see The impacts of child sexual abuse | CSA Centre). This type of abuse is one of the most difficult for children, young people and adults to speak about and for family members and professionals to identify, and often remains hidden even in plain sight ( For more information on the experience of survivors see Truth Project | IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse)
Sexual abuse is just as common as other forms of childhood abuse. Children who have been sexually abused may display a range of emotional and behavioural reactions which professionals should be alert to Effects | The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (nctsn.org).
Sexual abuse is difficult for children and young people to talk about, research, guidance and children have told us to notice the signs and indicators that a child is being sexually abused, to listen and ask them about what is happening and not wait for them to tell a professional or otherwise (Communicating-with-children-guide.pdf - csacentre.org.uk).
It is estimated that 15% of girls/young women and 5% of boys/young men experience some sexual abuse before the age of 16 ( Infographics | CSA Centre) the SSCP Child Sexual Abuse Strategy 2023-2026 highlights our commitment to identify and respond to child sexual abuse appropriately whilst listening to children.
The Home Office has also launched a new public consultation into setting out proposals for a mandatory reporting duty in child sexual abuse and on related policy issues. The consultation will close on 30 November 2023. Find out more: Child sexual abuse: mandatory reporting
Please note that resources shared this week are in addition to your mandatory safeguarding training requirement. Multi-agency training for child sexual abuse and harmful sexual behaviours will also be available soon via the SSCP Training Programme.
Whilst most of the resources and training will be free of charge, there may be a cost attached to some.
For continued improvement and provision of resources please complete the short survey with your feedback and recommendations – this will support us to evidence impact and build a confident and skilled workforce.
You may find the SSCP’s proposed training levels helpful as a reference to determine the level of learning you should access.