Best Practice

Safeguarding: Child-on-child sexual abuse

There has been a shocking rise in the number of child-on-child sexual offences being reported. Jaine Stannard looks at why this is and advises school-based professionals on their role in tackling the issues

In February, police figures revealed a rise of almost 80 per cent in reports of child-on-child sex offences (Barnardo’s 2017). In the four-year period, there were 32,452 reports of alleged sexual offences by children on other children – an average of more than 22 every day. With such shockingly high figures, it is clear we need to act and that speed is of the essence. But what can we do?

I work for School-Home Support (SHS), a charity dedicated to helping children and young people overcome barriers to education such as poverty, housing issues and abuse.

In this article, I want to outline what child-on-child sexual abuse is, provide possible reasons behind the rise and give practical guidance as to how you can prevent this happening to children at your school. The first step? Knowing what we’re dealing with. The definition of child-on child sexual abuse includes:

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