The UK is facing an epidemic of child sexual abuse, warns a landmark 180-page report co-authored and backed by former Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
Published on Monday, the report contains “uncomfortable findings and hard truths”, but the MP says “this problem isn’t insurmountable. There’s much more we can do”.
After leaving Government last year, the MP has been working with the Centre for Social Justice think tank to investigate child sexual exploitation and abuse.
The report was produced with the help of an expert Commission, representing the very best of their respective fields.
The Commission also brought together a Survivors Working Group, made up entirely of those with lived experience of child sexual abuse and exploitation. Each recommendation has been tested against this group of individuals, and many of the policies and conclusions are a direct product of their insights.
The report makes 96 actionable policy recommendations, including tougher sentencing, a new law to guarantee support for victims and a blueprint for tech companies to better protect children online.
Sajid Javid MP said:
“We’re facing an epidemic of child sexual abuse in this country. Although both government and industry are doing valuable work to protect children, our investigation makes it clear that the threat posed by predators is growing faster than we can respond.
“That’s why for the past year I’ve been leading a no-holds barred investigation into child sexual abuse and exploitation in the UK. This report reveals the true scale of the issue, and the systemic failings that have allowed it to persist. Most importantly, it contains almost a hundred policy recommendations which, if adopted, are capable of turning the tide against these abhorrent crimes.
“These range from cracking down on the lenient sentences typically given to child sex offenders to improving the support available to victims as they try and rebuild their lives. I know my colleagues in government feel as strongly about protecting children as I do. I hope our findings prove useful as they look to crack down on this appalling form of abuse."
The Full Report can be viewed online at: https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/library/unsafe-children-driving-up-our-countrys-response-to-child-sexual-abuse-and-exploitation