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:

  1. Providing and updating a comprehensive national account of what we do and do not know about CSA from the current data.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Building a better understanding of how practice in statutory services affects the level of CSA identified and recorded.

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Improving our response to child sexual abuse

Cassi reflects on giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, the challenges we face in preventing and responding to CSA and how we can improve our capacity to better protect children.

What the new ONS child abuse compendium tells us about CSA

Last week the Office of National Statistics (ONS) published a child abuse compendium. The CSA Centre has been involved in the working group developing the child sexual abuse (CSA) chapter of the compendium over the past two years.  Senior Research and Evaluation Officer, Kairika Karsna, writes about what we can learn from the new report and some of the challenges it highlights.