Can Child Sexual Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation really be uncoupled?

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There is currently a consultation led by Government to redefine Child Sexual exploitation (CSE) – and they want it to be a subset to child abuse – thereby uncoupling  it by definition from Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)

You can read more about the consultation (not too many pages, so fairly quickly) at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/statutory-definition-of-child-sexual-exploitation

 

Whilst I welcome the willingness to consider the need for a CSE definition – I’m not in favour of uncoupling it from CSA. The reasons for this is that some of the children/young people who have been victims of CSE have previously been a victim of familial child sexual abuse.

I consider, and work on the basis that, CSE is a form of CSA – and not separate.

I am NOT in favour of the present proposal and consider an that the following is more appropriate:

“Child sexual exploitation is a form of child SEXUAL abuse. It occurs where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for, amongst other things, money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection or status. Consent is irrelevant, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.”

The background to this counter proposal – is that the exchange of money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection …….. is common within ALL forms of CSA – and not unique to CSE.

The majority of the women who access specialist rape and sexual abuse services have been sexually abused not only within their familial setting, but also by others outside of the home. In recent years I and others have been concerned at the lack of focus on the overall landscape of CSA, as government continues to focus on CSE. I feel that CSE is an important subset of CSA & not a separate category under the general heading of child abuse.  If the government choose to make it so – I fear they will continue to ignore the needs of the majority of children/teens who are currently or will be future victims of Child Sexual Abuse.

If you look at the definitions of CSA & CSE  the one thing that stands out for me is that the grooming process involving gifts attention and affection appears to be confined to CSE which is simply not the case

Child Sexual Exploitation via NSPCC

Child Sexual Abuse Definition via NSPCC

I would welcome your comments

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New courses on child sexual abuse by Carolyn Spring

imageNew courses  avaliable this year – by @carolynspring

“It’s awful trauma – but the good news is that we can recover” http://pods-online.org.uk/index.php/training/our-training/csa-overview

“Child sexual abuse is when you’re powerless and betrayed, and you’re all alone and you mustn’t tell, and there’s confusion and pain and deep down inside there’s the fear that it’s all your own fault, that there’s something wrong with you, something terribly and toxically wrong with you, and there’s nowhere to go, and no one to run to, and no way to stop it because you’re small and weak and stupid and if only!!—if only!!—if only you had known, if you only you hadn’t been there, if only you hadn’t said what you’d said, or done what you’d done, or felt what you’d felt…That’s what child sexual abuse is.”

Child sexual abuse has been in the headlines constantly since the Jimmy Savile scandal broke in 2012. But why? Why is it such a big story? Why does it impact the victim so profoundly? What is the ‘transfer of responsibility’ in grooming? How many people are abused, by whom, and why? Is there hope for recovery?

Some people might say, ‘Oh, but I’ve been on child sexual abuse training before.’ We can guarantee that this training will be different! Carolyn will be covering rarely discussed subjects such as images of abuse (also known as ‘child pornography’) and the sexual abuse of children by females, as well as talking from her personal perspective both as a survivor of organised abuse and incest, and from her experience over 15 years as a foster carer.

This will be a hard-hitting, but hope-filled day and is suitable for a wide range of professionals working with survivors, in particular counsellors and psychotherapists, but also people working in adoption and fostering, Rape Crisis, social work, occupational health, education, police, prisons, lawyers and healthcare. Survivors are welcome but should be aware that there will be potentially triggering material throughout the day.” ( Carolyn Spring. Child Sexual Abuse Survivor)

This course is running as follows:

Child Sexual Abuse – Crawley
Saturday 24 September 2016
Child Sexual Abuse – Rotherham
Saturday 01 October 2016
Child Sexual Abuse – Darlington
Saturday 05 November 2016
Child Sexual Abuse – Bristol
Friday 02 December 2016
Child Sexual Abuse – Bristol
Saturday 03 December 2016
Child Sexual Abuse – London
Saturday 10 December 2016