UK child abuse inquiry: Child sex abuse victim report published

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A report looking at the impact of child sexual abuse on victims, their families and wider society has been published today.

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Alexis Jay is chair of the inquiry

The report is by researchers from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which was set-up by the then Home Secretary Theresa May in 2014.

The inquiry is investigating whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales, as well as make recommendations for change.

The report is part of the inquiry’s work into examining the impact of child sexual abuse on the lives of victims and survivors and their families, as well as wider society.

Entitled ‘The impacts of Child Sex Abuse: A rapid Evidence Assessment’, the report has been published at the same time as an inquiry seminar on victims and survivors’ experiences, which is taking place on 4-5 July in London.

During the two-day seminar, which will be streamed live, a range of experts, including victims and survivors will speak. The information and views they give will be gathered and considered by the inquiry on the impact of CSA on victims, survivors and their families, their support needs and current support provision.

Based upon existing evidence, the report concludes that ‘overall the evidence is compelling that CSA is associated with an increased risk of adverse outcomes in almost every sphere of victims and survivors’ lives, and that this risk can persist across their lifespan.’ It says that this harm also has knock-on impacts for family members of the victims and survivors, and for wider society.

The report goes on to say, ‘Both resilience and recovery are possible for victims and survivors'. This is more likely when they are in receipt of effective support services and a positive and sensitive responses from family, friends and professionals following disclosure of CSA.

It also finds a ‘wide range of gaps’ in knowledge about the impact of child sexual abuse, the way in which different groups of victims and survivors are affected, and the risk and protective factors which can impede or promote resilience and recover.

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