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

What do schools need to do to support children experiencing sexual abuse?

In 2019 schools will be required to teach Relationship Education in Primary Schools and Relationships and Sex Education in Secondary Schools. At the same time, schools are increasingly being expected to support children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. We need to use these curriculum changes to consider what is needed in PHSE teaching, how it fits into the curriculum and its role in preventing Child Sexual Abuse.  Continue reading

Keeping Children Safe in Education May 2016 updates.

Keeping Children Safe in Education Updates May 2016

This guidance comes into force on September 5th 2016.

For the first time, there is a useful Annexe (H) that identifies the paragraphs where there are changes and updates. However, it does not explain fully what those changes are. If you would like a document which does do this please either join my mailing list or e-mail me directly and I will send it to you.

Having been through the guidance, I have identified a number of actions and themes. Continue reading

CSE and confused thinking.

The recent spate of news stories about child sexual abuse and exploitation show an ongoing ambivalence about children, sex and celebrity. The conviction of the leaders of the Rotherham child sexual abuse ring has been seen as the beginning of justice for their victims, as has the conviction of Sunderland footballer, Adam Johnson.  At the same time Dame Janet Smith’s review of the BBC’s role in Jimmy Saville and Stuart Hall’s abuse of children and the subsequent sacking of Tony Blackburn has been seen as less straight forward.  The case of MP Simon Danczuk’s text messages to a 17 year old girl is seen by some as moving even further from the clear cut. These cases raise questions about the demands of reputation and the responsibilities of employers (or town councillors, in the Rotherham case) towards the victims of abuse carried out by their employees (or residents). Continue reading