Kirsten Asmussen, Freyja Fischer, Elaine Drayton and Tom McBride. The Early Intervention Foundation. February 2020.
This research charity focuses on promoting and enabling an evidence-based approach to early intervention. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traditionally understood as a set of 10 traumatic events or circumstances occurring before the age of 18 that have been shown through research to increase the risk of adult mental health problems and debilitating diseases. Five of these relate to forms of abuse. However, other adverse events exist and should not be ignored. The lack of evidence in several areas is highlighted.
© Barnardo’s, 2011.
The policy recommendations set out in this report are focused on England, but it is acknowledged that this is a UK-wide issue that needs to be addressed by governments across the UK.
The case is made for: Raising awareness to improve early identification of child sexual exploitation; Improving statutory responses and the provision of services universal to specialist services; Improving the evidence; Improving prosecution procedures.
© Barnardo’s, 2016
This inquiry determined to consider several aspects of harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) from it’s definition, prevalence and who is at risk, effect of internet, to whether current legislation, policy and practice are fit for purpose. It considers links between HSB and child sexual exploitation and explores how effectively the police, criminal justice system, health services and schools respond to HSB and whether changes in policy or practice are needed.
It’s main recommendations are:
1. Children who display harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) should be treated as children first and foremost.
2. The Government should work with relevant partners to develop a national strategy for preventing and responding to harmful sexual behaviour in children
3. The Government should work closely with schools, local government, the voluntary sector and others to: a. Improve support for parents in keeping their children safe from HSB; b. Increase children’s knowledge and understanding of safe and healthy relationships; and c. Restrict access to inappropriate online content. Improving responses to HSB and improving prevention will require a multi-faceted approach.
4. The Government should work with partners to commission research to further our understanding of HSB, in order to: a. Improve identification of children at risk; b. Improve prevention of HSB and CSE/A; c. Identify gaps in provision; d. Improve the effectiveness of interventions; e. Improve outcomes for children who display HSB.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was set up in the wake of some serious high profile instances of non-recent child sexual abuse and because the government had concerns that some organisations were failing and were continuing to fail to protect children from sexual abuse. They are examining what went wrong and why, and will challenge those institutions responsible. The evidence gathered will inform recommendations to help protect children in the future. They have a research programme which will fill gaps in the knowledge about child sexual abuse.
They run ‘The Truth Project’ which offers the opportunity for victims and survivors to share their experience and be respectfully heard and acknowledged. By doing so, they will help us to better understand the long term impact of abuse.
This report from January 2018 entitled ‘Online Child Sex Abuse Imagery’(CSAI) shows that the UK has made huge strides in tackling imagery online, but that the problem globally is as big as ever with most of the material being hosted in Europe (60%) and North America (37%). The report was produced at the time that the government were consulting on the Internet Safety Strategy, which contained a number of proposals of what social media companies should do. Seven areas are identified of how government, tech companies and the media might help in combatting imagery: Focus on the Top of the ‘Pyramid’; Improve Measurements of Online CSAI; Facilitate Sharing and Cooperation; Invest in Technology; Educate; A Greater Focus on Prevention; Report Responsibly.