Earlier this week the former home secretary, Sajid Javid, commented upon the surge in child sexual abuse which has occurred during the Coronavirus lockdown. He said that he will lead a “no holds barred” inquiry with the Centre for Social Justice think tank to examine organised child sexual exploitation and the abuse of children online.
Research publications cover a range of topics. The most recent research report has considered the motives and behaviours of perpetrators of child sexual exploitation who were convicted alongside other perpetrators. This is one of 15 reports which have been published covering a wide range of subjects. There remain four ongoing research projects which include safeguarding in residential schools, support services for victims and survivors and CSA in ethnic minority communities.
There are 15 investigations – some have had multiple case studies, others have been more focused on specific issues or organisations. There have been hearings in most of these investigations, and reports published for some. The current position is as follows:
The Truth Project is a vital aspect of IICSA’s work as it enables victims and survivors to share their experiences with the Inquiry in a safe and confidential way. As at the end of March 2020 there had been just over 20,000 expressions of interest made to the Truth Project and it had received 4,738 accounts, some in writing, some by telephone and some in person. IICSA has now, working with SignHealth, made it possible for victims and survivors who are deaf to share their experiences via videolink. At the current time, in view of COVID-19, face to face truth project sessions have been suspended.
As we approach six years since Teresa May first announced an inquiry into child sexual abuse we consider in a series of blogs the work undertaken to date and what is yet to be achieved by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). We consider the work of the Truth project, research published, investigations and reports. Today consideration is made of some practicalities
A recently published IICSA research report has identified a lack of confidence in staff, children, parents and local authorities in identifying ‘grey areas’ of child sexual abuse; varied reporting practices of child sexual abuse between residential schools despite following the same statutory guidance; and schools reporting difficulties in escalating referrals to local authorities.
The most recent Queens Speech confirmed the Government’s intent to continue to develop an Online Harms paper so as to make the UK the safest place to be online.