The government’s statutory guidance for England, Working together to safeguard children, states that sexual abuse:
“Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children (HM Government, 2015: p.93).
The sexual exploitation of children and young people has been identified across the United Kingdom, in both rural and urban areas. It affects boys and young men as well as girls and young women. It robs children of their childhood and can have a serious long-term impact on every aspect of their lives, health and education. It damages the lives of families and carers and can lead to family break-ups. Sexual exploitation of children and young people is a crime.CSE Strategy - April 2015
Dorset Children and Young People’s Sexual Assault Health Needs Assessment 2016
The Sexual Assault Needs Assessment was commissioned by NHS England to help inform the development and delivery of high quality, accessible services appropriate to meeting the needs of children and young people. The assessment includes data from the Police and the current Sexual Assault Referral Centre on reported occurrences of sexual assaults on children and young people and the sufficiency of services to meet these needs both currently and in the future, based on an expected rise in cases reported.Dorset Children and Young People’s Sexual Assault Health Needs Assessment 2016