The CSA Centre has a long-term strand of work to improve understanding of the scale and nature of child sexual abuse. We are currently making decisions in a fog, using poor quality and old data. In order to make better decisions, target responses effectively and best protect children, we need better data about both the prevalence and contexts of CSA nationally and what agencies know about at a local level.
Our ‘scale and nature’ research programme was built following a review of evidence on the scale and nature of CSA. It has four strands:
- Providing and updating a comprehensive national account of what we do and do not know about CSA from the current data.
- Promoting the need for a new national CSA prevalence survey of children and young people in England and Wales and supporting improved coverage of CSA in other national surveys.
- Supporting organisations from statutory and voluntary sectors to improve the data they collect about child sexual abuse through publication of a practical guide to data improvement and ongoing research and support.
- Building a better understanding of how practice in statutory services affects the level of CSA identified and recorded.