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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Final report

Annex 5: Key terminology in this report

Term (acronym)
Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) in Criminal Proceedings
Guidance issued by the Ministry of Justice on interviewing vulnerable witnesses and victims, and using ‘special measures’ in criminal court proceedings. Children are automatically entitled to provide evidence by way of a video-recorded interview with a trained police officer, as are complainants in allegations of sexual offences.
All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)
All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal, cross-party interest groups of Members of Parliament and peers interested in a particular issue.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
A type of computer programme that learns from data given to it, to then identify similar data. Machine learning and classifiers are also examples of such computer programmes.
Association of British Insurers (ABI)
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is a trade association which represents insurance companies in the UK.
Augmented reality (AR)
An enhanced version of the real physical world which uses digital visual elements, sound or other sensory stimuli delivered through technology.
Barnahus model
A child-friendly, multidisciplinary and inter-agency model or centre for responding to child violence and witnesses of violence. Started in Iceland and used across Scandinavia. The model has five key features:
  • a home-like setting (where all services are delivered under one roof, including the forensic interview, medical examination and child/family therapy);
  • helping victims to disclose abuse;
  • a minimal number of interviews conducted by child expert staff;
  • improved evidence through the reduced need for children to testify in court; and
  • guaranteed and rapid access to therapy.
Prior to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which created the offence of anal rape, offences of anal penetration were referred to and charged as the offence of buggery under the Sexual Offences Act 1956.
Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)
The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) is the independent regulator of social care and childcare in Wales. It registers, inspects and takes action to improve the quality and safety of services for the well-being of the people who use them.
Care Standards Act 2000
An Act of Parliament that created the role of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales. The Commissioner’s remit is set out in the Children’s Commissioner for Wales Act 2001, which amended the Care Standards Act 2000.
Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH)
The Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that campaigns against online hate and misinformation. It has offices in London and Washington DC.
Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse (CSA Centre)
A multidisciplinary team funded by the Home Office and hosted by Barnardo’s. The team works closely with academic institutions, local authorities, health, education, police and the voluntary sector. The Centre’s purpose is to understand the causes, scope, scale and impact of child sexual abuse in order to tackle it.
Charity Commission
A public body which regulates and registers charities in England and Wales. Responsible for maintaining an accurate and up-to-date register of charities. It also provides some oversight of those who are registered to administer charities (known as trustees). It can take steps to dismiss individuals from being trustees of charities if they act contrary to their duties.
A person under the age of 18.
Child Abduction Warning Notices (CAWN)
A warning notice issued to an individual prohibiting them from associating with a named child. Breach of this notice is an arrestable offence.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
National Health Service (NHS) provided services that assess and treat children with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. Although the term ‘CAMHS’ is used in this report, this aspect of children’s mental health provision is now part of the wider Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS – see below).
‘Child House’ model
A Child House is a multi-agency service model supporting children, young people and non-abusing parents and carers following child sexual abuse. It is a child-centred approach in which the organisations involved in supporting the child provide coordinated services in a single, child-friendly environment.
Child independent sexual violence adviser (CISVA)
A child independent sexual violence adviser (CISVA) provides impartial information and advice to child victims and survivors, including about reporting to the police and accessing Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) services.
Child protection
(see also ‘Safeguarding’)
Activity to protect a child or children who are identified as suffering, having suffered or likely to suffer significant harm. Often used by practitioners interchangeably with safeguarding, child protection refers to activity in relation to a specific child who has been identified as being at risk, whereas safeguarding is used to refer to measures to keep all children safe.
Child protection plan
A written record for parents, carers and professionals which sets out:
  • how social workers will check on the child’s welfare;
  • what changes are needed to reduce the risk to the child; and
  • what support will be offered to the family.
Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (CSPRP)
An independent panel, set up under the Children and Social Work Act 2017, working with the Department for Education. CSPRPs commission national and local reviews of serious child safeguarding cases, with a focus on improving learning, professional practice and outcomes for children.
Child sexual abuse
Sexual abuse of children (which includes child sexual exploitation) involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities. Those activities may involve physical contact and non-contact, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual acts, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse including via the internet.
Child sexual abuse material
Any content that shows indecent images or sexual activities involving a child under 18 years old. This includes photographs, videos, live streaming and computer-generated images.
Child sexual exploitation
Sexual exploitation of children is a form of child sexual abuse. It involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where a child receives something, including as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child realising that they are being sexually exploited; for example being persuaded to share sexual images on the internet or via mobile phones.
Children Act 1989
An Act of Parliament which allocated duties to local authorities, courts, parents and other agencies in the UK to ensure children are protected and their welfare is promoted.
Children Act 2004
An Act of Parliament which imposed duties on statutory bodies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and cooperate with each other, and to set up local safeguarding children boards. It also created the role of the Children’s Commissioner for England.
Children in care

A child who has been in the care of their local authority for more than 24 hours is known as a child in care, also referred to as a looked after child.

In general, children in care/looked after children are:

  • living with foster parents;
  • living in a residential children’s home; or
  • living in residential settings like schools or secure units.
Children’s Barred List
A list maintained by the Disclosure and Barring Service of individuals who have been barred from undertaking ‘regulated activity with children’ as defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
Children’s Commissioner for England/Children’s Commissioner for Wales

A statutory office, independent from the government, responsible for the promotion and protection of children, and for giving children the opportunity to have their voices heard.

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales has the power to deal with complaints made by individual children.

Both Commissioners can investigate and report on general concerns relating to children.

Children’s home
An establishment that provides care and accommodation wholly or mainly for children.
Children’s services and children’s social care
Children’s services and children’s social care are provided by local authorities, which are responsible for setting the strategy for and effectiveness of the provision of services to address the needs of children and young people. In this report, we refer to staff within local authorities with statutory responsibility for children as ‘children’s social care’.
Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS)
Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their mental health or well-being.
Civil Procedure Rules (CPR)
Rules used by the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice, and County Courts in England and Wales to ensure civil proceedings are understandable and more affordable for non-lawyers.
Claim form
A document setting out brief details of a claimant’s claim, which must be filed with and issued by the court, triggering the formal commencement of civil proceedings.

Those who are ordained for religious duties, especially in the Christian Church. Ordination means to be set apart from lay people, i.e. to be consecrated, by way of religious ceremony, which then enables them to perform some religious rites not open to be performed (in some Christian denominations) by lay people.

The term is also applied to non-Christian religious leaders who are ordained in England and Wales as ‘shorthand’ for a religious leader.

College of Policing
Professional body for everyone working across policing. It is an operationally independent arm’s-length body of the Home Office.
Computer-generated imagery (CGI)
The process of using computer graphics to create images in art, print media, animation, film, television and video games.
Cope and recovery services
Services which offer emotional and practical support to people affected by crime.
Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)
An ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019, which is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Corporal punishment
Physical punishment which is intended to cause physical pain to a person, such as spanking or caning.
Corporate parent
An organisation or person who has special responsibilities for children and young people who are in care.
Crime of violence
A person can only apply for an award of compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (see below) if they sustain a criminal injury that is directly attributable to their being a direct victim of a ‘crime of violence’, which involves:
  • a physical attack;
  • any other act or omission of a violent nature which causes physical injury to a person;
  • a threat against a person, causing fear of immediate violence in circumstances which would cause a person of reasonable firmness to be put in such fear;
  • a sexual assault to which a person did not in fact consent; or
  • arson or fire-raising.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) deals with compensation claims from people who have been physically or mentally injured because they were the victim of a violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales. It is an executive agency of the UK government, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS)
Publicly funded scheme administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. It is intended to be a scheme of ‘last resort’ for victims of violent crime who are unable to seek or obtain financial compensation by other means, such as by making a civil claim.
Criminal justice system
The system which investigates, prosecutes, sentences and monitors individuals who are suspected or convicted of committing a criminal offence. This also encompasses institutions responsible for imprisonment, probation and sentences served in the community.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
Independent agency headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions that is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases that have been investigated by the police in England and Wales.
Custodial institution
The term ‘custodial institution’ is used to describe establishments in operation for children and young people in the youth justice system both in the past and currently. In England and Wales, there are currently three types of institutions where children may be detained within the criminal justice system. These are young offender institutions (YOIs), secure training centres (STCs) and secure children’s homes (SCHs).
Dark web (or dark net)
Part of the worldwide web that is only accessible by means of specialist software and cannot be accessed through well-known search engines. Often used by criminals to purchase indecent images of children or to procure abuse of children, or to view extreme pornographic material. Also known as the dark net or deep web.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is a ministerial department of the UK government, with responsibility for culture and the arts, broadcasting and the internet, sport, and the tourism and leisure industries.
Designated safeguarding lead (DSL) (England)
Each school in England should appoint a senior member of staff as DSL, with lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection at the school, including the provision of advice to other staff, supporting staff and attending meetings with statutory agencies. The role is set out in full in Annex C of Keeping Children Safe in Education.
Designated safeguarding person (DSP) (Wales)
In Wales, the senior member of staff from the leadership team of the school with lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection at the school. Full details and responsibilities are set out in Keeping Learners Safe.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
An executive non-departmental public body that processes and issues criminal records checks for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It also maintains the vulnerable adults’ and children’s barred lists and makes decisions as to whether an individual should be included on one or both of these lists. It replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (for disclosure of criminal records) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (which previously operated the barred lists).
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly Criminal Records Bureau/CRB checks)
Checks of an individual’s criminal record, intelligence about them not amounting to a criminal conviction or caution, and whether or not they have been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. There are different levels of checks depending on the role applied for.
Education Workforce Council (EWC)
Independent regulator in Wales for the education workforce, covering teachers, learning support staff in schools and further education, qualified youth workers and work-based learning practitioners. Came into being in April 2015.
Emergency Protection Order (EPO)
An urgent order granted by the Court if the local authority has satisfied the Court that a child is in immediate need of protection from significant harm or a risk of significant harm. These types of applications are usually issued by a local authority.
The process of converting information or data into a code that makes it unreadable to unauthorised parties.
End-to-end encryption (E2EE)
Where the content of the communication can only be seen by the sender and recipient, and not by any others – including the providers of the platforms themselves.
English Benedictine Congregation (EBC)
The English Benedictine Congregation (EBC) is an umbrella term for the small number of English Benedictine communities that exist worldwide, which are made up of Roman Catholic monks or nuns. The EBC follows the Rule of St Benedict, which is a book of precepts that establishes a way of life based on the teachings and values of the Gospel.
European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
A convention of the Council of Europe to protect human rights, political and fundamental freedoms in Europe, created in 1951. The rights set out in the Convention apply to all UK citizens.
‘Everyone’s Invited’
A movement started by Ms Soma Sara in the summer of 2020 that enables survivors of rape culture to share their stories through testimonies shared anonymously on its website and Instagram profile. Its mission is to “expose and eradicate rape culture with empathy, compassion and understanding”.[1] By January 2022, the organisation had received over 50,000 testimonies.[2]
Ex gratia payments
A payment made even where there is no legal obligation or liability to pay it, including those made under redress schemes.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Independent body that regulates the financial services industry in the UK. Its role includes protecting consumers, keeping the industry stable, and promoting healthy competition between financial service providers.
‘Five Eyes’ Ministerial
An intelligence alliance composed of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These partner countries share a broad range of intelligence with one another in a multilateral arrangement.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
A regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. The GDPR is an important component of EU privacy law and of human rights law, in particular Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The GDPR has been retained in UK law since leaving the European Union.
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
An intelligence and security organisation responsible for providing signals intelligence and information assurance to the government and armed forces of the UK.
The process of building a relationship with a child in order to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation.
An event in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.
Harmful sexual behaviour
Sexual abuse between children, whether children of different ages or children of a similar age. It may also be referred to as ‘sexually harmful behaviour’ or ‘sexualised behaviour’.
A unique digital signature of an image.
Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Regulator of health and care professions in the UK.
His Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI)
An organisation that inspects the work carried out by the CPS and some other prosecuting agencies. Its purpose is to enhance the quality of justice and make an assessment of prosecution services which improves their efficiency, effectiveness and fairness.
His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)
An organisation that inspects and reports to the public and their elected representatives on how well the police do their job. Its purpose is to promote improvements in policing and to keep people safe. HMICFRS provides authoritative information to allow the public to compare the performance of their police force against others.
His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for England and Wales (HMIP)
An independent inspectorate which reports on conditions for and treatment of those in prison, young offender institutions and immigration detention facilities. HM Inspectorate of Prisons works with the Ministry of Justice.
His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
An executive agency which carries out sentences given by the courts, in custody and the community and rehabilitates offenders.
Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA)
An Act of Parliament that sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to. It incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic British law. The Human Rights Act came into force in the UK in October 2000.
A cloud storage service that enables users to store important information and data, i.e. photos, files, documents, backups and more.
Identity verification
Software used by some businesses to ensure that users or customers provide information that is associated with the identity of a real person.
Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)
IROs are senior social workers who oversee and scrutinise the care plan of the child or young person and ensure that everyone who is involved in that child or young person’s life fulfils their responsibilities. All local authorities have a duty to appoint an IRO to every child in care.
Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)
Government-approved independent inspectorate which inspects some independent, private and fee-paying schools and private further education colleges on behalf of the Department for Education. The ISI undertakes inspections of independent schools against statutory standards, and publishes reports following those inspections.
Independent sexual violence adviser (ISVA)
An ISVA is an adviser who works with people who have experienced rape and sexual assault, irrespective of whether they have reported to the police. They provide specialist tailored support to victims and survivors of sexual violence.
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
The UK’s independent authority, set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. It is a non-departmental public body which reports directly to the Parliament of the UK and is sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Integrated care systems
Partnerships between the organisations that meet health and care needs across a geographic area.
International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC)
A criminal records check for anyone who lives, or has lived, in the UK, and who is looking to work with children overseas. It confirms whether or not the applicant has a criminal history and provides details, including relevant conviction and non-conviction data. The ICPC is a joint initiative by the National Crime Agency and the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office.
International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)
An intergovernmental organisation with 195 member countries that helps police to work together to make the world a safer place. INTERPOL assists police with a range of technical and operational support and enables member countries to share and access data on crimes and criminals.
The International Underwriting Association of London (IUA)
The International Underwriting Association of London (IUA) is an organisation that represents non-Lloyd’s companies in London providing international and wholesale insurance and reinsurance coverage.
Internet Protocol (IP) address
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a number assigned to a device connected to a computer network.
Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)
An independent, not-for-profit organisation which aims to remove child sexual abuse images and videos from the internet and to minimise the availability of such material.
Joint Inspectorate Review of Child Protection Arrangements (JICPA)
A Wales-only inspection which is similar to the joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs) in England (see below).
Joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs)
Joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs) are carried out by Ofsted, HMI Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, the Care Quality Commission, and HMI Probation. These thematic inspections look at how well local agencies work together in an area to protect children.
Judicial College
The official body responsible for the training of judicial office holders in England and Wales and some tribunals around the UK.
Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE)
Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment practices in England.
Keeping Learners Safe
Statutory guidance for local authorities and governing bodies on arrangements for safeguarding children in Wales.
Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme
A redress scheme which pays compensation to people who were abused or lived in fear of being abused while in Lambeth Council’s care as children. It is for those who lived in or visited a Lambeth children’s home, including those at Shirley Oaks, or attended Shirley Oaks Primary School.
Lanzarote Convention
The Council of Europe’s Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (2007).
Law enforcement agencies
A law enforcement agency is a government agency which is responsible for enforcing the law. In the UK this includes the regional police forces and the National Crime Agency.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, other (LGBTQ+)
Terms used to describe a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Limitation Act 1980
An Act of Parliament applicable to England and Wales – a statute of limitations providing the timescales within which a claim must be made in respect of negligence and breaches of contract.
Live streaming
In this context, the broadcasting of real-time, live footage of a child being sexually abused over the internet.
Local authority designated officer (LADO)
Individual within the Children’s Services Department of a local authority to whom individuals report allegations or concerns about child protection. Responsible under statute for investigating such complaints. Their role is to give advice, liaise with other agencies and coordinate the investigation of allegations on behalf of the local authority.
Local Government Association (LGA)
The Local Government Association (LGA) is a national membership body for local authorities. It is a politically-led, cross-party organisation. It works to support, promote and improve local government, and raise national awareness of the work of local councils.
Looked after child

A child who has been in the care of their local authority for more than 24 hours is known as a looked after child, also referred to as a child in care.

In general, children in care/looked after children are:

  • living with foster parents;
  • living in a residential children’s home; or
  • living in residential settings like schools or secure units.
Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC)
A functional body of the Greater London Authority responsible for oversight of the Metropolitan Police. The body is headed by the Mayor of London who acts in a similar capacity to the police and crime commissioners elsewhere in England.
#MeToo campaign
A social movement against sexual abuse, sexual harassment and rape culture, in which people publicise their experiences of sexual abuse or sexual harassment.
Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
A ministerial department of the UK government headed by the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor.
National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)
An organisation that provides information to help locate children reported missing (by parental abduction, child abduction or running away from home) and to assist physically and sexually abused children.
National Crime Agency (NCA)
A national law enforcement agency against organised crime; human, weapon and drug trafficking; cybercrime; and electronic crime that goes across regional and international borders.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. NICE is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.
National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC)
A national coordination body for law enforcement in the UK and the representative body for British police chief officers.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
A charity founded in 1884 that currently provides extensive and varied services for children, young people and families, such as domestic violence prevention, treatment and therapeutic services, young witness support and young people’s centres.
Non-governmental organisation (NGO)
Usually a non-profit organisation that operates independently of any government, typically one whose purpose is to address a social or political issue.
Office of Communications (Ofcom)
The UK’s communications regulator. Regulates sectors such as television, radio, telecoms and postal services.
Office for National Statistics (ONS)
The UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics, and its recognised national statistical institute. Responsible for collecting and publishing statistics related to the economy, population and society at national, regional and local levels, as well as conducting the census in England and Wales every 10 years.
Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted)
A non-ministerial government department that inspects a range of educational, social care and childcare institutions in England. Its counterparts in Wales are Estyn (for education) and Care Inspectorate Wales (for social care).
Online Safety Bill
The Online Safety Bill was published by the UK government on 17 March 2022. It is intended to improve internet safety and prevent a range of potentially harmful content being accessed online. The Bill would create a new duty of care for online platforms towards their users and require them to take action against illegal and harmful content. Once the Bill is passed, UK companies will be under a duty to report any child sexual exploitation and abuse content that they encounter to the National Crime Agency.
Operation Hydrant
A hub established by the National Police Chiefs’ Council in 2014 to provide national coordination, oversight and guidance to police forces on allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse concerning persons of public prominence, or which took place within institutional settings.
Paramountcy Principle
The principle that when making decisions about any issue relating to the upbringing of a child, their welfare is the most important factor. See section 1(1) of the Children Act 1989.
Technology developed by Microsoft which assists in the detection and removal of known images of child sexual abuse on the internet. PhotoDNA creates a unique digital signature of an image (known as a hash) which is then compared against hashes of other photos to find copies of the same image.
A process which enables internet companies to identify and prevent known child sexual abuse images from being uploaded to platforms and social media profiles.
Regulated activity

Activity from which a person may be barred, as set out in schedule 4 to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

A person who applies to do work which is regulated activity with children is eligible for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate with a check of the relevant barred list. It is an offence for an employer to knowingly engage a barred person to undertake regulated activity.

Rehabilitation Code

Published by the Rehabilitation Working Party, which consists of representatives from the International Underwriting Association of London, the Association of British Insurers, Lloyd’s primary insurers, legal groups, care providers and the NHS.

The code requires solicitors to consider the best options for their client, including referring them for medical treatment and facilitating compensation claims in addition to financial settlements.

Relationships, sex and health education (RSHE)
In England, it became a mandatory obligation to teach relationships and sex education in all schools from September 2020. Relationships education must be provided for children aged 5 to 16. Sex education is compulsory for children aged 11 to 16, but can be taught in primary settings. Statutory guidance sets out the core content to be taught at each stage. In Wales, it became mandatory from 2022.
Return home interview (RHI)
Statutory guidance in England provides that when a missing child is found, a return home interview (RHI) should be offered to the child (although there is no requirement that the child participates in it). This should be conducted within 72 hours of the child returning to their home or care setting. RHIs are not a statutory requirement in Wales but there is an expectation on the part of the Welsh Government that they will be offered after a child has three episodes of going missing. RHIs should be conducted by someone who is not involved in caring for the child, is trained to carry out these interviews and is able to follow up any actions that emerge.
A term used by statutory bodies and others involved in child protection. It derives from section 10 of the Children Act 2004 and section 17 of the Children Act 1989, and denotes the duty to both protect children and to take active steps to promote their well-being and prevent them from coming to harm, by:
  • protecting children from maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
‘Same roof’ rule

Law introduced in 1964 which prevented victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence from claiming compensation if they were living with the perpetrator at the time of the offence.

Amended in 1979 but not retrospectively, so potential compensation claimants from offences which took place prior to that date were still unable to claim. It was abolished entirely in 2019, allowing for compensation claims which failed under the ‘same roof’ rule to be reconsidered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board within their usual time limits.

Secure children’s homes (SCHs)
Secure children’s homes (SCHs) are custodial institutions for children aged between 10 and 14. They are run by local councils and house between 8 and 40 children. They should provide 30 hours of education and training per week.
Secure estate for children and young people
Institutions where children and young people may be detained, including secure training centres, secure children’s homes and young offender institutions.
Secure training centres (STCs)
Secure training centres (STCs) are custodial institutions for children aged up to 17. They are run by private companies and house between 50 and 80 young people, split into units of 5 to 8 people. They should provide 30 hours of education and training per week.
Self-generated imagery
A naked or partially naked image of a child taken by the child themself.
Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) offer medical, practical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted.
Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for another person.
Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO)
A Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) is a civil order which may be made following a conviction for a sexual offence. It can include a range of restrictions, including on foreign travel.
Sexual Risk Order (SRO)
A Sexual Risk Order (SRO) is a civil order which may be made by a court where there has been no conviction but the person is proven to have done an act of a sexual nature, and it is necessary to make an order to protect the public. It can include a range of restrictions, including on foreign travel.
Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
An Act of the Welsh Government which establishes the requirement for a national independent safeguarding board and regional safeguarding boards, made up of representatives from local authorities, local health boards, the police and others.
Special measures
A series of provisions that help vulnerable and intimidated witnesses in criminal cases give their best evidence and help to relieve some of the stress associated with giving evidence. These measures may vary depending on whether the witness is an adult or child, but they include screening a witness present in court from the accused, giving evidence via a live link and having video-recorded evidence played as the witness’s evidence in chief.
Special school
A state-funded or independent school specially organised to make provision for pupils with special educational needs. It may be maintained by a local authority, an academy or a non-maintained special school.
Spent convictions
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 provides that criminal cautions or convictions resulting in no more than 4 years’ imprisonment become ‘spent’ after a certain time period. Spent convictions do not have to be declared when applying for most jobs (although this does not apply to jobs working with children).
Statutory agencies
Institutions set up by law to carry out public activities such as social services, local authorities more broadly, and police and healthcare organisations.
Subject access request (SAR)
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, victims and survivors have a legal right to request copies of records containing their personal information. This is known as the right of access and the request is commonly known as a SAR.
Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA)
Executive agency of the Department for Education which regulates the teaching profession in England and maintains a record of those with qualified teacher status (QTS).
Child trafficking is the practice of transporting children into, within and out of the UK or any other country for the purposes of exploitation, including sexual abuse and exploitation.
Truth Project

The Inquiry’s Truth Project gave more than 6,000 victims and survivors of child sexual abuse an opportunity to share their experiences with the Inquiry and put forward suggestions for change.

This listening exercise was set up because the Inquiry recognised that victims and survivors could provide a uniquely-informed contribution to understanding and learning from past mistakes and improving child protection in the future.

Most importantly, victims and survivors were entitled to give their accounts and opinions, be listened to respectfully, and have their feelings of hurt, frustration and anger acknowledged.

Each experience shared with the Truth Project made an important contribution to the work of the Inquiry, enabling it to build an understanding of child sexual abuse and its impact on victims and survivors. Their experiences and views have helped to inform the Inquiry’s final recommendations.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the network identification or address where a particular page or resource, e.g. images or sound files, can be found on the worldwide web.
Unregulated placements
Under the Care Standards Act 2000, services that provide accommodation and care for young people under the age of 18 are required to register with Ofsted. If accommodation without care is provided, the placement is considered ‘unregulated’.
Unspent convictions
Records which have not yet reached the defined time as set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, or which are not eligible to become spent. Unspent convictions will appear on a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check.
Taking a photo under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or to cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.
Victims’ Code

Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. Established by the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, it came into effect in 2006.

It sets out what all UK criminal justice agencies (the police, Crown Prosecution Service, Courts Service and Probation Service) must do for victims and survivors, and the timeframe in which they must do it.

Rights under the Code include being kept informed on the progress of cases; the current legal status of suspects and offenders; information regarding compensation and restorative justice schemes; help in giving evidence and making victim personal statements; and referrals to victims’ support services.

Victim and survivor
An individual who has experienced child sexual abuse.
Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel (VSCP)
The Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel (VSCP) assisted and advised the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) on all aspects of its work.
Victims and Survivors Forum
A forum at the Inquiry for all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, with more than 1,700 members across England and Wales from diverse backgrounds. The Forum provided an opportunity to engage with the Inquiry and to attend a wide range of online and face-to-face events which contributed to its policy and research work. Forum members’ comments and suggestions were also shared with the Chair and Panel to inform recommendations in the Inquiry’s final Report.
Virtual Global Taskforce
The Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) is a group of 12 law enforcement agencies from around the world which work together to tackle the global threat from online child sexual abuse. The National Crime Agency (NCA) in the UK is the current chair of the VGT.
Virtual reality (VR)
Virtual reality (VR) is the use of computer modelling and simulation which enables a person to interact with an artificial 3D environment. VR applications can use goggles, headsets, gloves or bodysuits.
Web crawler
A computer programme that automatically searches the internet for, in this context, child sexual abuse images.
Working Together to Safeguard Children
Statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education (and prior to that the Department of Health) since 1991, which provides advice on child protection practices and processes for those working with children across all sectors.
Youth Custody Service (YCS)
The Youth Custody Service (YCS) is a distinct part of His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). It is responsible for the operational running of young offender institutions, secure training centres and secure children’s homes.
Young offender institutions (YOIs)
Young offender institutions (YOIs) are custodial institutions for 15–21-year-olds. They are run by the Prison Service and private companies. They house between 60 to 400 offenders, split into groups of 30 to 60 people.
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