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The Centre of Expertise on CSA

Child sexual abuse in 2020/21: Trends in official data

There continues to be a worrying gap between the estimated prevalence of child sexual abuse in England and Wales and what is recorded in official service data. This new analysis presents the trends in identification and response to child sexual abuse as evident in the latest available official data released by child protection, criminal justice and health agencies in England and Wales. Right now, agencies are only identifying and responding to a small minority of sexual abuse of children that occurs in society and the latest data shows significant variations in the levels of abuse identified and responded to across local areas in England and Wales, including:

  • Nearly two thirds of local authorities in England – including the majority of those in Inner London – placed five children or fewer on a child protection plan under the category of sexual abuse
  • Half of all local authorities in Wales also placed no or very few children
  • Police forces differed threefold in the rate of recorded child sexual abuse offences relative to the size of their child population
  • Data from Sexual Assault Referral Centre’s (SARC’s) varied widely across the seven health regions, with London having the lowest and South West the highest reach among under-18s

Visit The Centre of Expertise on CSA to download the full report

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