Sexual abuse is when a child is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities even if the child is aware or not aware of what is happening. The acts can be physical contacts, including penetrative or non-penetrative, or it can happen online. The child may not understand that they are being abused and may not recognise it to be wrong.
Child sexual abuse can also include non-contactable abuse such as involving a child or young person to look at or be part of sexual online images, watching sexual acts, or encouraging them to act sexually inappropriate. This also includes child sexual exploitation and grooming a child in preparation for abuse (Source: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018).
Sometimes the child may be put under considerable amount of pressure to conceal the abuse and the child may feel guilty and blame themselves for their involvement. Children who are very young, or may not be aware or have the language to communicate what has happened or is happening to them, may be difficult to assess the abuse that is happening.
Letting the Future In is a therapeutic intervention for children and young people aged 4-17 who have been affected by sexual abuse.
Women As Protectors educates and supports women who have some form of relationship with a man who poses a risk of sexual harm to children.
Protect and Respect offers preventative, protective and recovery initiatives to young people between ages of 11-19, who have been sexually exploited or who are vulnerable to this form of abuse. This initiative supports children who have been trafficked and have been separated from their families, those who are unaccompanied asylum seekers and looked after children.
Directory of Resources in Richmond and Kingston
From our local learning we have developed details of resources around sexual abuse, sexual health and emotional wellbeing in Kingston, Richmond, local and national for parents, children and young people. Download here.
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Toolkit
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation has published a free online toolkit to help prevent children and young people from being sexually abused. Eradicating Child Sexual Abuse (ECSA) is designed be used in any part of the world, and enables professionals to: understand child sexual abuse; see solutions that others have used around the world; design a local plan that fits their needs. More information can be found using this link.
Harmful Sexual Behaviour
The NSPCC has published helpful learning about working with children and young people, who exhibit sexualised behaviour, that may be harmful. It can be accessed here.
The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse
The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse has key learning for multi-agency practitioners here.