Child sexual abuse (Historic abuse)

Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)

“Child sexual abuse” is a non legal term. There is no offence of child abuse. Child abuse happens in all walks of life, social groupings, and societies. It can happen from birth onwards and may involve physical acts as well as “grooming“. When a perpetrator/offender is charged with offences relating to child abuse often a sample of crimes will be prosecuted.

Women can commit child sexual abuse, although this is quite rare. The vast majority of CSA is carried out by men, usually members of the family or close friends, or trusted professionals.

When a child grows up being abused this is the “norm”, and feelings about the abuser may be very mixed. CSA may internally damage children who have been subjected from infancy.

A lot of abusers are aware that the law changes at the age of 13, and will wait for a child to reach their 13th birthday before the abuse begins.

CSA can lead to very distorted behaviour within the child. In some of the worst cases dissociation will result, but children may become very introverted, extroverted or manipulative. CSA can lead to pregnancy in children.

Abusers often pick on vulnerable children – those who are lonely, who don’t always fit in, the disabled, step children, children in care, or those who have already been exposed to another type of abuse/neglect.

Abusers come from all walks of life. Some appear very kind to children, buying presents, giving treats, paying them lots of attention. Others are very frightening – blackmailing them, threatening them and scaring them.

CSA can continue into adulthood with the victim being unable to break free from the abuse.

CSA may involve vaginal, oral and anal rape ( buggery/sodomy). It may involve other forms of violence or in extreme cases – use of animals. It can involve the penis but may be the use of other instruments. Some abusers prefer touching, over clothing, so as not to leave DNA. Other types of CSA may involve forcing a child to watch/hear porn, or others having sex.

Any child who is subjected to CSA, should be protected. Children should not be questioned and if any concerns arise Child Protection policies should be adhered to.

You may be first complainant (ie the victim has never disclosed to anyone before). In this instance a detailed record must be kept in case the victim decides they would like to report the incident to the police. As first complainant you may be required to give evidence. All records should be signed and dated by you, and kept securely (under lock and key) for at least 7 years.

Historic Abuse
Is the name given to adults who suffered CSA that happened as a child. There is no national support group for victims of CSA. There is an umbrella body – Survivors Trust. Most support groups are locally based, often run by victims of CSA. They may be unregulated, even though they may be endorsed by local statutory agencies. Some Rape Crisis groups provide support for historic CSA. Their support will usually be given by professional BACUP trained counsellors.


Childline (maybe answering machine) 0800 1111
Cybercrime Historic Abuse

Children’s Services (Social Services)
Police 999 or local number
Rape Crisis 08088029999
Survivor’s Trust 01788 550554

NSPCC 0808 800 5000

Church of England – Promoting a safe church


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