The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse have published their Engagement with children and young people report considering how children should be better protected by listening to the present-day experiences of young victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.
The engagement team heard from 56 victims and survivors of child sexual abuse between the ages of 11 and 21, and 77 specialist child sexual abuse support workers.
Six key points emerged from this research:
- Young victims and survivors face delays in accessing support
- The introduction of mandatory reporting could discourage children from disclosing their experiences of child sexual abuse
- Young victims and survivors and the specialist social workers who support them want to see improvements in how statutory bodies respond to child sexual abuse and exploitation
- There needs to be a cultural shift so that talking about sexual abuse becomes as acceptable to discuss as other subjects.
- Relationships and sex education (RSE) in schools does not reflect current challenges facing children, and is mostly inconsistent and inadequate.
- Creators of social media apps and internet platforms must take greater responsibility.