This learning from case reviews briefing looks at case reviews published since 2017, where children experienced sexual abuse.
The reviews suggest that professionals are sometimes slow to identify sexual abuse as an explanation for a child's behaviour or medical presentations – particularly when other explanations are offered.
The learning highlights the importance of:
This briefing focuses on child sexual abuse committed by adults. For information on harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) which is displayed by children and young people, read our HSB learning from case review briefing.
Published: January 2020
Our series of thematic briefings highlight the learning from case reviews conducted when a child dies, or is seriously harmed, as a result of abuse or neglect. Each briefing focuses on a different topic or learning for specific sectors, pulling together key risk factors and practice recommendations.
We work with local safeguarding partners to ensure that learning from case reviews can be accessed and shared at a local, regional and national level.
Find out how you can apply the lessons from case reviews and improve your practice to help protect children and young people.
Browse through our list of child safeguarding practice reviews, serious case reviews, significant case reviews and child practice reviews which were added to the National case review repository between 2017 and 2023.
Use our information and resources to help you recognise child sexual abuse when working or volunteering with children. Includes what signs to look out for and how to respond to concerns.
How many children experience sexual abuse in the UK? Our briefing highlights key findings from the data and statistics about child sexual abuse.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) can take place in person, online or using a combination of both. This page explains what is, how to recognise it and how people who work with children can respond to it.