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.
- Developing a new national prevalence survey of children and young people in England and Wales, in partnership with Durham University and NatCen Social Research.
- Improving statutory and voluntary service data by developing and testing a data collection template.
- Building a better understanding of how practice in statutory services affects the level of CSA identified and recorded.
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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.