Child Sexual Abuse

‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018) definition to define child sexual abuse:

  • ‘Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.’

The definition of child sexual abuse in the family environment, includes relationships between the victim and the perpetrator which are mediated by the family or family home. Parents/carers, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins fall within this definition. Some adults who play a less direct role in the family life can also be included, such as neighbours, and family friends, where the familial context of the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator would exacerbate the impact of the abuse on the victim and undermine their ability to access help and support.

Professionals who suspect or have identified that a child is being sexually abused or has been sexually assaulted should use the LSCB Procedures Manualthis external link will open in a new window.

You can also use this flowchartthis external link will open in a new window to identify which organisation to contact in the first instance. 

North West Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2021 

On Monday 8 November, Cumbria will be supporting North West Sexual Violence Awareness week, which aims to raise awareness of sexual violence and the support services available to survivors. The awareness week aims to reassure survivors, and anyone supporting them, that they will be listened to and how they can access support. Whether you choose to report to the police or not it is your choice. 

For further details please visit Sexual Violence Support website here and also view the event leaflet.

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