• Action to end child sexual abuse and exploitation: a review of the evidence

      Radford, Lorraine; Allnock, Debra; Hynes, Patricia; Shorrock, Sarah; UNICEF and End Violence Against Children; University of Central Lancashire; University of Bedfordshire (UNICEF and End Violence Against Children, 2020-12-01)
      Child sexual abuse and exploitation is prevalent in all countries of the world and has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents. This report commissioned by UNICEF: * describes what is known about the extent, nature and consequences of child sexual abuse and exploitation; * reviews the evidence on effective interventions and strategies to prevent and respond; * synthesises these findings within the overarching INSPIRE and RESPECT strategic approach for violence prevention to recommend specific actions to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse and exploitation.
    • Child neglect: the research landscape

      Allnock, Debra (Jessica Kingsley, 2016-01-01)
    • Children's voices: children and young people’s perspectives on the police’s role in safeguarding: a report for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies

      Beckett, Helen; Warrington, Camille; Ackerley, Elizabeth; Allnock, Debra; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-12-01)
      As part of their child protection inspection programme, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC) commissioned ‘The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking’ at the University of Bedfordshire to undertake exploratory research with children and young people in England or Wales who have come into contact with the police because of concerns about their safety or wellbeing.  The core objectives of the work were to: integrate the views and experiences of children and young people into HMIC’s Inspection processes, and explore safe and appropriate means of facilitating this, informed by participatory principles.
    • Evidence-based models of policing to protect children from sexual exploitation

      Allnock, Debra; Lloyd, Jenny; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-12-01)
      This research, carried out between 2015 and 2017 was undertaken by a team at the International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, trafficking and violence at the University of Bedfordshire. The International Centre has an established reputation for child-centred research and recently completed an initiative joint funded by the Home Office, Higher Education Funding Council for England and College of Policing to improve and share learning on policing child sexual exploitation (CSE) (see website https://www.uobcsepolicinghub.org.uk/). The original overarching aim of this research project was “to improve multi-agency work with police to prevent child sexual exploitation”. It was funded by KPMG Foundation and Norfolk Constabulary, supported by The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation. This research is the first study of its kind. It is the first to document examples of current operating models of police responses to CSE in England and Wales; the first to attempt to draw out summaries of how features of policing improve disruption and prosecution of offenders; and the first study to assess the features of CSE policing responses in relation to the outcomes for victims. The research involved interviewing police officers and civilian staff including researchers and analysts from CSE teams across eight selected study forces in England.
    • Making noise: children’s voices for positive change after sexual abuse

      Warrington, Camille; Ackerley, Elizabeth; Beckett, Helen; Walker, Megan; Allnock, Debra (University of Bedfordshire/ Office of Children’s Commissioner, 2016-12-01)
    • Mapping therapeutic services for sexual abuse in the UK in 2015

      Allnock, Debra; Sneddon, Helga; Ackerley, Elizabeth; University of Bedfordshire; NSPCC (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-01-01)
      The International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Trafficking and Violence at the University of Bedfordshire was commissioned by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to undertake a mapping exercise – across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - of therapeutic services for children and young people who have experienced any form of child sexual abuse (CSA), including child sexual exploitation (CSE). This mapping exercise was intended to be an update, and facilitate a comparative analysis with the 2007 audit. However, different samples and the more limited nature of the exercise means that it is inadvisable to make direct comparisons. However, the current mapping exercise has revealed new insights about a broader range of services than were included in the previous 2007 audit. The current mapping exercise consisted of: 1) identification of generalist and specialist services in the four nations providing therapeutic support for any form of child sexual abuse, including child sexual exploitation (n=750); 2) an online questionnaire distributed to all identified services; 3) a small number of follow-up telephone interviews with service providers and 4) a small number of telephone interviews with service commissioners. A total of 130 respondents provided data in the questionnaire on 149 services, giving a service response rate of 20%.
    • Memorable life events and disclosure of child sexual abuse: possibilities and challenges across diverse contexts

      Allnock, Debra (Policy Press, 2017-02-09)
      This article examines the relationship between memorable life events (MLEs) and disclosure of sexual abuse in childhood. The findings derive from a larger thematic and phenomenological analysis of MLEs across the life course of 12 adults with self-reported histories of child sexual abuse (CSA). Participants were recruited from the UK, but represent a diverse group in terms of age, gender, country of origin, sexuality and disability. In-depth interviews and Life History Calendars (LHCs) were used to collect a range of contextual and event-based data. Varied and unique MLEs were found to promote disclosure of sexual abuse in childhood, although this was highly contingent on context. A conceptual framework is offered as a way of navigating this relationship and contexts that can inhibit, alter or reverse decisions to disclose abuse. This research is the first known in-depth analysis of MLEs and CSA, and therefore makes an original contribution to the field.
    • Responding sensitively to survivors of child sexual abuse: an evidence review

      Sneddon, Helga; Wager, Nadia; Allnock, Debra (Victim Support/University of Bedfordshire, 2016-04-01)
      This report summarises what the evidence tells us about the characteristics of adults who were sexually abused as children and how to most effectively support them. 
    • ‘Snitches get stitches’: school-specific barriers to victim disclosure and peer reporting of sexual harm committed by young people in school contexts

      Allnock, Debra; Atkinson, Ruth; University of Bedfordshire; AVA - Against Violence & Abuse (Elsevier, 2019-01-03)
      Background: School based, peer-to-peer sexual harm is under-researched despite its prevalence and adverse effects on young people across the globe. Understanding barriers to victim disclosure and peer reporting might help towards the prevention and protection of young people. Objective: This study explores dual perspectives of young people and educational staff about school-specific environmental barriers to 1) young people’s disclosure of sexual harm experienced, and 2) young people’s reporting of sexual harm on behalf of others. Participants and setting: Participants include 59 young people aged 13–21 and 58 educational staff, drawn from seven schools across four local authorities in England whom formed part of a wider study on harmful sexual behavior and safety in schools. Methods: Focus groups were carried out with young people and education staff. The sessions were thematically analysed and focused on barriers to disclosure within the school context. Results: Peer groups set powerful ‘rules’ that influence the ability and willingness of young people to report sexual harm. Some school responses for addressing sexual harm are sub-optimal and sexual harm is not adequately prioritised. Some schools appear to struggle to manage more subtle forms of sexual harm compared with more recognized forms of violence and abuse. A significant proportion of sexual harm is so prevalent that it is ‘normalised’, and therefore underreported.  This resigned acceptance to sexual harm consequently shapes young people’s disclosures. Conclusions: School systems of responding to sexual harm require strengthening to increase feelings of safety and empowerment of young people.
    • Victim Support's Adult survivors of child sexual abuse project: an evaluation of a co-created service delivery model

      Allnock, Debra; Wager, Nadia; Victim Support; University of Bedfordshire (Victim Support, 2016-06-13)
      Victim Support (VS), in partnership with the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), was successful in obtaining funding from the Child Abuse Inquiry Fund to develop a strengthened service response to adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA). The original aim of this work, as cited by Victim Support, was to: Create a robust and evidenced model for wrap-around support, based on existing proven frameworks, academic review and input from other expert services and survivors of CSA. The model that was developed, and which constitutes the subject of this report, is known  as the Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse  (or See website for details of funding pots: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/child-sexual-abuse-inquiry-2m-funding-boost-for-victims ASCSA, for short) project. The project was informed by an evidence review carried out by the University of Bedfordshire prior to the start of the project. It was then fully developed through a process of ‘co-creation’, involving Victim Support staff and adult survivors of CSA (hereafter referred to as ‘consultants’. The University of Bedfordshire has evaluated the experiences of co-creation and this report presents these findings and recommendations for future service development using a co-creation model.
    • What do we know about child neglect and policing in England and Wales? : evidence briefing for the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation

      Allnock, Debra; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-11-01)
      The purpose of this briefing is to provide the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation with evidence for consideration in the development of a National Safeguarding Action Plan. The methodology used in the reviews can be found in an associated document. This briefing distils key messages from the research evidence on neglect, and considers them within the policing context in England and Wales. However, it is important to note that the research literature on child neglect and policing is almost non-existent. Therefore, the messages which underpin the actions in the National Safeguarding Action Plan are largely based on best available evidence rather than direct evidence. These messages are linked directly to the National Safeguarding Action Plan, which may be read alongside this briefing. The briefing is not intended to be exhaustive, but to raise awareness of the key issues associated with neglect that should be considered by the police.
    • What do we know about child sexual abuse and policing in England and Wales? : evidence briefing for the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation

      Allnock, Debra; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-11-01)
      The purpose of this briefing is to provide the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation with evidence for consideration in the development of a National Policing Safeguarding Action plan. The methodology can be found in an associated document. This briefing distils key messages from research evidence on policing and child protection in the United Kingdom (UK).
    • What evidence exists about the scale of child sexual abuse in England and Wales? : evidence briefing for the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation

      Allnock, Debra; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-11-01)
      This scoping review was undertaken on child sexual abuse to inform the development of an overarching National Policing Action Plan on child protection. The context, aims, methodology, policy context and background can be found in an associated document. The purpose of this briefing, and other similar briefings, is to provide the National Policing Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation with evidence for consideration in the development of a national strategy. This particular briefing focusses on what is known about the scale of child sexual abuse (CSA) in England and Wales based on the range of information available. Literature pertaining to the context of child sexual exploitation (CSE) (which is recognised as a particular form of CSA) will be written up separately in order to address the characteristic patterns and dynamics that make it a unique form of CSA.