Laura Sharman 20 April 2017

Children subject to sexual abuse in families are being failed by system reports warn

Many victims of child sexual abuse within families are failing to receive the help they need, often waiting months or years for therapy, new research has warned today.

Three new reports from the Children’s Commissioner also found schools are failing to offer pupils lessons in sexual abuse, with many teachers unsure about spotting the signs of sexual abuse.

The Children’s Commissioner is calling for professionals to receive training to recognise signs of child sexual abuse, for schools to create more opportunities for children to disclose abuse and for children to have access to pre-trial therapy.

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, said: ‘Professionals remain dedicated to supporting the victims of abuse, but urgent changes need to be made to the way it is reported, the role of schools in preventing it and the criminal justice process in child sexual abuse cases.

‘The Icelandic ‘Barnahaus’ approach, where services ranging from medical examination to therapy are provided to victims under one roof, has been proven to be successful in overcoming some of these hurdles and I hope it will be trialed in England.’

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