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Inquiry seminar: Impacts of CSA, support needs and support services - Day one summary

4 July 2017

Victims, survivors and experts talked about the impact of child sexual abuse during an Inquiry Seminar held today (4 July).

The Seminar, which is being held across two days, will enable the Inquiry to gather information and views for consideration.

A new Inquiry research report, The Impacts of Child Sexual Abuse: A Rapid Evidence Assessment, published today, was also discussed by participants at the seminar.

Speaking about the impact of CSA on victims and survivors, Claire Soares, a member of the Inquiry’s research team, said: “The report found there were significant, lifelong and wide-ranging adverse impacts of CSA. But resilience and recovery are possible provided there is effective and timely support available to victims and survivors.”

Cate Fisher, also a member of the research team, said that the impact of CSA on wider society was also significant. She said analysis conducted by the NSPCC concluded that CSA cost the economy an estimated  £3.2 billion a year - including money spent on the criminal justice system and mental health services. However she said that the largest part of this cost to the economy was due to victims and survivors of CSA being more likely to be unemployed or in lower-paid jobs.    

The Seminar also heard from members of the Inquiry’s Victims and Survivors Forum.

One woman told the seminar that there had been no support available to her when she wanted to tell her younger children about her experience of CSA. “You don’t want these things to ripple on in your family,” she said. “There has to be support and knowledge about how to deal with that.”

Another said: “I believe that the more we speak about it, the the more we are open about it in schools and in work places, the easier it will become for children to talk about it. We have got to start being comfortable about speaking about it.”

The Seminar also explored whether CSA victims and survivors had had access to appropriate support services as children or in adulthood.

The Seminar is taking place at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in London. The second day of the seminar will be held tomorrow and will be live streamed on our website.

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