Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities. It includes contact and non-contact abuse. The abusive sexual activity may involve trickery, coercion, threats, and aggression, together with secrecy. Child Sexual Abuse can happen anywhere – and it can happen in person or online.
Contact abuse involves touching activities where an abuser makes physical contact with a child, including penetration. It includes:
Non-contact abuse involves non-touching activities, such as grooming, exploitation, persuading children to perform sexual acts over the internet and flashing. It includes:
Child Sexual Abuse may not necessarily involve a high level of violence and the child or young person may not be aware of what is happening, or that it is wrong. They might be afraid to tell someone and to speak out. It is never a child's fault they were sexually abused – it is important to make sure children know this.
Knowing the signs of sexual abuse can help give a voice to children. Some of the signs you might notice may include the child/young person:
Some children show none of these signs.
WSP recognise that we need to do more to equip our workforce to know enough to be able to identify and offer the right support. Therefore, we are reviewing our training offer for frontline staff on the issue of sexual abuse in the family environment. In the meantime, you can access further information online regarding CSA identification, procedures, and support resources from:
West Midlands Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures
Identifying & Responding to Child Sexual Abuse
Identifying & recognising Sexually Harmful Behaviour (SHB) in Young People