May 20, 2024

The IICSA Child Sexual Abuse report, in a nutshell

The full executive summary is here:

BUT here it is in a nutshell…

  1. Some people do really horrible things to children. Sometimes this involves an element of sexual assault.
  2. When people do these things to children it can damage those children, physically, emotionally and mentally. This damage is sustained into adulthood.
  3. Children who dare to tell an adult about what happened to them may be told they are lying or that what happened to them was their own fault.
  4. A hostile response further contributes to the damage experienced by young people.
  5. Sometimes the people who worked for organisations, where the abuse had taken place, when told about the abuse, were more bothered about protecting the reputation of their organisation.
  6. Generally speaking people, adults and organisations don’t do enough to support children who are abused and to make sure that children don’t get abused in the first place.
  7. So, the government should do three things to improve the situation:
    1. Create a new authority led by cabinet ministers.
    2. Launch a campaign to help people understand what they should do if they are concerned about a child.
    3. And oblige people working with children to tell someone if they think a chid is being sexually abused.
  8. It should also give the victims of child sexual abuse money to make up for the damage that has been done.


In response to these main recommendations, the UK government, in May 2023:

  1. Did not make a specific pledge to set up a new Child Protection Authority, but said it was doing other stuff to create a stronger safeguarding system.
  2. Did not commit specifically, to a CSA public awareness campaign, but said it would explore how to raise awareness.
  3. Agreed to mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse, although at the same it implied that it questioned the evidence for the need for one, by calling for evidence.
  4. Accept the need for a national redress scheme.

The Chair of the Inquiry said, of the recommendations, on BBC Woman’s Hour: that several of the government’s responses to the inquiry’s proposals were “vague, unspecific and without a timeline” and “frequently did not address the issues contained in the recommendations”.

Children will not get adequate abuse protection from government response to CSA inquiry, warns chair


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