Sexual abuse: a public health challenge

Last updated: 04 Sep 2018 Topics: Child sexual abuse and CSE

What we know about the causes, prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse

Recent NSPCC research has found that almost a quarter of young adults experienced sexual abuse during childhood (see sexual abuse statistics).

But a high number of these incidents go unreported, undetected, unprosecuted and untreated.

This report pulls together current knowledge on the causes and consequences of child sexual abuse, levels of service provision and examples of good practice within the UK and highlights the gaps in public policy.

It draws on a literature review and consultation with practitioners, managers, children and young people.

The report calls for a public health approach to tackling sexual abuse which employs a wide range of interventions from prevention strategies to treatment approaches. It sets out the rationale for how and why the NSPCC is tackling sexual abuse.

Authors: Jon Brown, Trish O'Donnell and Marcus Erooga
Published: 2011