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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Support services for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse


The sample was drawn from 634 adults who self-identified as victims and survivors of child sexual abuse as part of the ‘Abuse during childhood’ module in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) year ending March 2019 (Office for National Statistics, 2020).[1] A mixed-methods approach was used to explore the above research aims:

  • A quantitative online survey[2] of 181 victims and survivors from the CSEW recontact sample, including both those who had and had not accessed support. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted.
  • Twenty-four qualitative in-depth interviews with three groups: (A) eight who had not accessed support services; (B) eight who self-identified as having had positive experiences of support services; and (C) eight who had negative experiences of support services. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.

These were supplemented with six pen portraits (two from each of the above groups), and a network map to aid understanding of the service landscape.



  1. This recruitment method was considered particularly valuable, as most research in this area draws on samples recruited from support services themselves.
  2. The survey was completed between 15 October and 24 November 2019.
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