The Children’s Commissioner for England published an April 2017 study (pdf) into children’s experiences of help-seeking and support after sexual abuse in a family environment.
The research comprised 53 in-depth qualitative interviews with children aged 6 to 19 who were receiving support. The Commissioner sought to respond to a recognised gap in evidence from the perspectives of children and young people affected.
The study found that:
- Most children and young people did not feel that disclosure was likely or possible for children in their position
- Children and young people hold a deep sense of responsibility for changes to both family relationships and family members’ wellbeing
- Over half of children and young people interviewed highlighted the need for professional support for family members
- The children and young people interviewed for this research expressed a strong desire to communicate a sense of hope to other children facing similar circumstances and the importance of optimism in professional interventions