Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is when a child is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities even if the child is aware or not aware of what is happening. The acts can be physical contacts, including penetrative or non-penetrative, or it can happen online. The child may not understand that they are being abused and may not recognise it to be wrong.

Child sexual abuse can also include non-contactable abuse such as involving a child or young person to look at or be part of sexual online images, watching sexual acts, or encouraging them to act sexually inappropriate. This also includes child sexual exploitation and grooming a child in preparation for abuse (Source: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018).

Sometimes the child may be put under considerable amount of pressure to conceal the abuse and the child may feel guilty and blame themselves for their involvement. Children who are very young, or may not be aware or have the language to communicate what has happened or is happening to them, may be difficult to assess the abuse that is happening.

Pornography is a term used for adults engaging in consensual sexual acts. When children are involved, it is not pornography and it should be seen as sexual abuse of children and a crime.  Using the incorrect terminology can trivialize the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

Indecent Images of children, comes under Section 1 of The Protection of Children Act 1978 is that criminalized indecent photographs of children  and Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

 For further details please see the following

 The Luxembourg Guidelines

CSA Pathways for Practitioners
Please click this link to view the CSA Pathway:

Please find the Signs and Indicators template here.

Directory of Resources in Richmond and Kingston

From our local learning we have developed details of resources around sexual abuse, sexual health and emotional wellbeing in Kingston, Richmond, local and national for parents, children and young people.  Download here.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Toolkit

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation has published a free online toolkit to help prevent children and young people from being sexually abused. Eradicating Child Sexual Abuse (ECSA) is designed be used in any part of the world, and enables professionals to: understand child sexual abuse; see solutions that others have used around the world; design a local plan that fits their needs.  More information can be found using this link.

Harmful Sexual Behaviour

The NSPCC has published helpful learning about working with children and young people, who exhibit sexualised behaviour, that may be harmful. It can be accessed here.

The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse

The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse has key learning for multi-agency practitioners here.

Please find here our CSA (Child Sexual Abuse) Pathway for Kingston and Richmond here.

The CSA Centre has published this guide to help practitioners work with parents and carers  where there are concerns for Child Sexual Abuse.