Sexual Abuse

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.

CSA Pathways for Practitioners
Please find below a CSA pathway for each borough for practitioners to use.
Richmond CSA Pathway
Kingston CSA Pathway

South West Child Sexual Abuse Hub

The South West Child Sexual Abuse [CSA] Hub in Croydon is expected to fully function and be available for all children and young people under the age of 18 living in the boroughs of Croydon, Richmond, Kingston, Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth, by December 2017.

The service will offer a holistic package of medical and emotional care following suspicion or disclosure of child sexual abuse.

The hub offers:

  • Medical examination and follow up in a child-friendly environment to provide reassurance to the child and their family and to document any injuries in the case of a trial
  • Emotional needs assessment and brief intervention of approximately 6-8 therapeutic sessions. The support is provided by NSPCC Children’s Services Practitioners (this service is in operation now and is detailed in the documents below)
  • Support for the family
  • Case management, appropriate onward referral and signposting


The hub is also there to provide other professionals with support and expert advice. A medical examination may not be necessary, or a therapeutic intervention may not be appropriate at the time of referral to the hub, but the hub team can help assess the child and family needs and facilitate the best package of care in that specific situation.

Please utilise this resource to ensure children, young people and their families are offered all the support and help they need at this difficult time. Please share this information as widely as you possibly can amongst relevant professionals.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the team members to discuss the hub service further. Contact information and details of how to refer are contained in the documents below:

CSA Hub Leaflet for Children

CSA Hub Leaflet for Young People

CSA Hub Leaflet for Parents

CSA Hub Leaflet for Professionals

The NSPCC Croydon Service Centre also offers a range of other services to Kingston and Richmond families (excluding Return Home Interviews and the London & Infant Family Scheme) click here for an overview or on the leaflets below for specific information for professionals:

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.