The Home Office has published its report about the economic and social cost of contact child sexual abuse (CSA). The report considers both the financial and non-financial costs relating to all children who began to experience contact sexual abuse, or who continued to experience contact sexual abuse, in England and Wales, in the year ending 31 March 2019. The total costs is estimated to be at least £10.1 billion (in 2018/19 prices). Furthermore, for each individual who experiences CSA, the cost is estimated to be £89,240.
Previous estimates of the cost of CSA put this cost at £3.2 billion in 2014. The Home Office previously considered that the cost for child sexual exploitation (CSE), a subset of CSA was estimated to be at £2.3 billion in the financial year 2015/16.
The final discussion of last week’s IICSA seminars touched on commissioning of support service from a provider’s viewpoint, primarily focused on the reasons for inaction and inefficiencies within the support services.
Professor Cooper of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust stated that in preparation for his attendance at IICSA he had spoken to experienced clinical social work practitioners who expressed to him a sense of fear in handling child sexual abuse (CSA) issues. As a result of this fear Professor Cooper asserted that professionals who may otherwise be competent and well trained were unable to cope effectively when faced with allegations of CSA, resulting in the inaction which characterised the critique of service providers in previous panel discussions. The panel discussed the reasons behind this sense of fear:
On Wednesday 5 July 2015 the IICSA held a second day of seminars focusing first on the presentation and discussion of what can be gleaned from academic literature in respect of effective support services for child victims. This was by reference to a Rapid Evidence Assessment (“REA”) completed by Professor Lorraine Radford and her team at the University of Central Lancashire titled “What can be learnt from other jurisdictions about preventing and responding to child sexual abuse”.