At the heart of the challenge to better understand the scale and hidden prevalence of child sexual abuse is the lack of robust data

The CSA Centre responds to the launch of the UK Home Office's 'Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy'

Posted in: Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse , Uncategorised

The UK Home Office recently published the Tackling CSA Strategy, the country’s first ever cross-government approach to tackling child sexual abuse. This renewed focus on all forms of child sexual abuse is an important step forward, with the potential to drive real improvements in how we collectively prevent, identify and respond to this hidden crime.

By Ian Dean | Director CSA Centre, 15 February 2021

I am delighted to see numerous references in the strategy to the valuable contributions that our expert team at the CSA Centre have made to wider understanding of CSA over recent years, including our work setting out what we do and don’t know about the scale of child sexual abuse and our new typology of child sexual abuse offending.

Similarly, it is encouraging to see a strong focus on the need to equip professionals across the children’s workforce with the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively identify and respond to child sexual abuse. We have championed improved training for professionals since our creation, and trained more than 2000 people in the past year alone. Helping more professionals understand and feel supported in addressing sexual abuse is vital work, and a long-standing passion for us at the CSA Centre. This strategy commits to increasing and improving child sexual abuse training for professionals across education, social work, the Crown Prosecution Service, policing and probation. At the CSA Centre, we have been developing specific CSA training courses to meet these needs, and supporting others to embed up to date information specifically about child sexual abuse into existing training provision.

This strategy has much to commend it, and I am confident that it will give a real impetus to our work to tackle child sexual abuse over the years to come. I want to use the remainder of this blog to explore two points in more detail: the need for much better information on the true prevalence of child sexual abuse, and the importance of maintaining the strategy’s broad and very welcome focus on all forms of child sexual abuse.