Child Sexual Abuse in the Family Environment


Child sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact,
including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging
children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).
Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.

Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018

The LSCB have looked at who well the city’s services protects children where concerns have been raised that sexual abuse may be occurring within a family. We specifically looked at whether:

– concerns clearly recognised and dealt with early enough
– the local child sexual abuse pathway is being followed
– the therapeutic needs of the child and other family members fully addressed
– agencies worked effectively together to protect the child

We found some good practice and some practice that needs changing.

Example of good practice: Where referrals were made to the Front Door For Families (4 cases) and the Police (2 cases) concerns were clearly recognised and dealt with early enough. Decision making was found to be good and there was consistency in the approach taken i.e. a timely and good quality response was given.

Example area of improvement: The local child sexual abuse pathway was not followed in the majority of cases (5/7) – this relates to the children sexual abuse referral centre not being involved (in 5 cases); no Achieving Best Evidence (one case) and no medical (one case).


You can read more from this audit activity here: CSA Briefing FINAL


The LSCB provides specific training around the subject of child sexual abuse. You can access this here: