Child Sexual Abuse Group

International and national research shows us that child sexual abuse in all its forms, from exposure to inappropriate sexual images to being coerced to take part in harmful sexual discussions and photographs to physical abuse, is prevalent across all levels of society.  Broad estimates reported by the Centre of Expertise on Child Abuse suggest that around 15% of girls and 5% of boys have experienced or are experiencing some form of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), which equates to around 10,600 children in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It is acknowledged that this estimate spans a wide range of types of abuse.

The NSPCC report that 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused (Child Maltreatment Survey Radford et al. 2011).This provides a lower estimate of 7,600 children having experienced some form of sexual abuse by an adult or by a peer at some point in childhood, with just over a third (2,300) having experienced physical (contact abuse).

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A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact and it can happen online. Sometimes the child won't understand that what's happening to them is abuse and may not even understand that it's wrong, or may just be afraid to speak out.

Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) can have enduring consequences for the survivors.  For many the impact is significant and life-long.  These can include acute feelings of betrayal and mistrust, powerlessness, stigmatization, guilt, self-loathing and traumatic sexualisation, physical and mental health problems, and difficulties in forming and maintaining healthy relationships.

Contact abuse - involves touching activities where an abuser makes physical contact with a child.

Non-contact abuse - involves non-touching activities, such as grooming, exploitation, persuading children to perform sexual acts over the internet and flashing, showing pornography to a child, sexual exploitation of a child.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity 

  • in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or
  • for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. (Working Together 2018)

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was set up because of  serious concerns that some organisations had failed and were continuing to fail to protect children from sexual abuse. It is a statutory inquiry that has authority to address issues that  have persisted despite previous inquiries and attempts at reform.

The Truth Project is part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The Truth Project offers victims and survivors the opportunity to share their experience in writing, on the telephone or in person.

Free 24/7 Helpline: 116 000

There is a dedicated helpline, provided by the Devon and Cornwall Police, for children and young people with concerns about child sexual exploitation (CSE) involving themselves or others. This 'Say Something' helpline is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The helpline number is 116000.

For more information see:

The responsibility of the CSA Group is to oversee the implementation of the multi-agency CSA strategy and ensure that actions arising from it are undertaken.

The main functions of the CSA Group include:

  • Raising general awareness of the signs and indicators of CSA across the workforce.
  • Identifying appropriate toolkits to help in the early identification of children and young people subject to CSA
  • Sourcing appropriate training to support practitioners in their use.
  • Encouraging individual agencies to improve the quality of assessments, considering possible CSA
  • Targeting awareness-raising to young people, mothers and those who work in schools and colleges.
  • Raising awareness of the particular CSA vulnerability of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

If you want to speak to the chair of the group or for any other information, please contact the Practice Development and Standards Service by using the contact details on this page.

Meeting Dates 2019/20




Tuesday, 19 November 2019

2.00 to 4.00

Room 2N:05, New County Hall, Truro

Monday, 13 January 2020

2.00 to 4.00

Grenville Room, New County Hall, Truro

Monday, 16 March 2020

11.00 to 1.00

Room 2N:02, New County Hall, Truro

Thursday, 14 May 2020

10.00 to 12.00

Room 2N:06, New County Hall, Truro

Thursday, 9 July 2020

10.00 to 12.00

Room 2N:06, New County Hall, Truro

Monday, 14 September 2020

10.00 to 12.00

Room 2N:02, New County Hall, Truro

Monday, 9 November 2020

10.00 to 12.00

Room 2N:02, New County Hall, Truro

Monday, 18 January 2021

10.00 to 12.00

To be confirmed

Monday, 15 March 2021

10.00 to 12.00

To be confirmed


Minutes of Meetings