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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse in the context of children’s homes and residential care

Sample and methods

We have used a mixed methods approach in the analysis undertaken for this report, and have analysed both quantitative and qualitative information. The statistical (quantitative) information in this report is based on a sample of 2,328 participants who took part in the Truth Project between June 2016 and March 2019. Of these, 191 individuals (8 per cent) shared an experience of child sexual abuse that related to a residential care context. To draw out themes, differences and commonalities, quantitative data from these participants are shown alongside quantitative data from the 2,137 participants whose descriptions of sexual abuse did not involve residential care contexts.

As the participants in this report are individuals who have chosen to take part in the Truth Project, the statistics produced are not reflective of the general population. Differences between those sexually abused in residential care and non-residential care contexts should therefore not be interpreted as reflecting differences within the general population of victims and survivors. The differences should also not be interpreted as being statistically significant, as tests of significance have not been carried out. Tables containing all the figures for the quantitative data are available in Appendix A, with the salient points drawn out within the body of the report.

The qualitative information is drawn from 12 of the 191 Truth Project accounts relating to child sexual abuse in residential care contexts. These 12 accounts were randomly selected within a sampling framework designed to ensure we included a range of characteristics and circumstances, such as the time period in which the abuse occurred, victim age and victim gender[1].

We have not broken down our analysis by the specific type of residential care discussed by victims and survivors because it is not systematically recorded in the data collection process and is also not always shared by participants. Instead this report focuses on the more general commonalities and differences between those sexually abused in residential care contexts and those abused in other contexts.

A detailed explanation of the process used for carrying out analysis of Truth Project information can be found in the separate report, Truth Project Research: Methods (King and Brähler, 2019).



  1. These 12 accounts form a subset of the overall qualitative sample, discussed further in our Methods report (King and Brähler, 2019).
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