24 Nov 2015

Responding to the Children’s Commissioner’s report on child sexual abuse, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'This report reveals the shocking scale of child sexual abuse in this country and the alarming level of under-reporting. As we know from our work with very vulnerable children, fear, shame and mistrust too often force them to suffer in silence. This is a national scandal.

'Professionals working with children — including police, teachers, and doctors — need better training to spot the warning signs of sexual abuse so they can help children and report abuse. Professionals should not be putting all of the burden for reporting these crimes on the victims themselves. Children also need to be given age appropriate sex education to increase their understanding of the issues.

'As this report highlights, with so much of this abuse taking place within the home, it is crucial that children feel they can talk to a trusted professional about what has happened to them. When children come forward they must be listened to and believed.

'It is vital these children can get the right level of therapeutic support, not just in the immediate aftermath of the abuse, but for the long-term so they can cope into the future.'

Media enquiries

For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422, 07775 812 357 or email beth.herzfeld@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors