Victim and perpetrator

In safeguarding, we are facing major confusion about children who are both victims and either perpetrators of abuse or commit criminal offences. These are complex and emotionally difficult issues. Though our thinking has moved on since 1993 when the press publicly denigrated the child killers of Jamie Bulger as ‘monsters’, it is still a work in progress. We are beginning to understand that these were children enacting their own abuse in the most terrible manner. But this understanding is not universal and even professionals working with child perpetrators of abuse and crime struggle with it. These issues, alongside the misunderstandings relating to grooming and radicalisation, are highlighted by the case of Shamima Begum, who wishes to return from Syria to bring up her child in the UK. Continue reading