Protecting children from harm: a critical assessment of child sexual abuse in the family network in England and priorities for action
- Document type
- Longfield, Anne
- Office of the Children's Commissioner
- Date of publication
- 24 November 2015
- Children and Young People
- Social welfare
- Material type
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Child sexual exploitation is now a priority for local and national agencies with child protection responsibilities, however, child sexual abuse which occurs within families has been largely absent from the national conversation.
Sexual abuse within a family has a particular impact on victims and the wider family. The violation of trust, and the barriers to accessing help pose particular challenges to policy-makers and practitioners.
In July 2014, the Children’s Commissioner initiated an Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in the Family Environment.
There were four principal reasons for launching this Inquiry:
- Abuse is often neither recognised nor addressed by the agencies responsible for child protection.
- Most victims of sexual abuse are abused by a family member or someone known to them.
- High profile cases have led to a series of policy and initiatives to safeguard children from sexual exploitation.
- It is probable that the majority of victims of intra-familial child sexual abuse have not received help.
This Inquiry aims to understand this issue in greater detail, particularly its scale and nature in England.
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