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Child Sexual Abuse

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children under 14 years were recorded as experiencing sexual abuse in each of the last five years; what services for such children are funded by his Department; and what mechanisms are in place to provide liaison between services funded by his Department and those provided by other funding streams. (78214)

The Home Office does not collect statistics for the number of children under the age of 14 recorded as experiencing sexual abuse.

The National Service Framework (NSF) for Children, Young People and Maternity Services Standard five 10.6 sets out that

“Local authorities, NHS Trusts and primary care trusts ensure that integrated services are available to respond in a co-ordinated manner to the assessed needs of children and young people and their families where a child has been or is at risk of being abused or neglected. The types of programmes offered are based on best available evidence of what interventions are effective and are subject to regular audit, the findings of which inform future service provision”.

The NSF for Children, Young People and Maternity Services is a 10 year strategy.

The Department of Health is working with the Home Office, the Department of Education and Skills and voluntary sector organisations providing services for sexually abused children through the joint Department of Health and National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) Victims of Violence and Abuse Prevention Programme (WAPP). This is a two year programme until April 2007. The aim of the programme is to develop national service guidelines based on research conducted by the programme. Guidelines will be published in spring 2007. The programme is intended to equip professionals and services to identify and respond to the mental and physical health effects of child sexual abuse. An expert group on child victims of domestic violence and sexual assault has been established to advise the programme.

The Home Office and the Department of Health supported the development of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) for children: Project Amethyst in London, and St. Mary’s in Manchester. £100,000 from the Victim’s Fund was allocated to this work in 2005-06.