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The BBC reports that Pope Francis has asked forgiveness for the 'evil' damage caused by Catholic clergy who abused children.
Source: BBC Online  11 April 2014

As part of an initiative trialled in 6 London boroughs, mothers who were victims of female genitial mutilation (FGM) will be referred to children's social services and the police to prevent a further generation of girls being subjected to the abuse.
Source: Children & Young People Now  14 April 2014

Two new factsheets have been published on NSPCC Inform: Recognising signs of abuse at different stages of a child's development and What can schools do to protect children and young people from sexual exploitation?
Source: NSPCC Inform  11 April 2014
Further information:
   Recognising signs of abuse at different stages of a child's development
   What can schools do to protect children and young people from sexual exploitation?

The BBC reports that Dorset Police officers have said it would be unlawful to delete photos of a child sexual abuse victim from a convicted sex offender's laptop because they are not legally classified as indecent or prohibited. The sex offender has formally requested that his laptop and mobile phone be returned to him.
Source: BBC Online  11 April 2014

Radio podcast, This American Life, includes an interview with a 19-year-old 'self-diagnosed' child sexual abuser who has set up an online support group for young people who are sexually attracted to children. It discusses the lack of available support for non-offending sex offenders and the impact of mandatory reporting on self-referral to support services.
Source: This American Life 11 April 2014

A documentary exploring children and young people's exposure to pornography is available to watch on BBC IPlayer. Porn: what's the harm? was first broadcast on 10 April 2014 at 9.00pm on BBC 3.
Source: BBC Three 10 April 2014

The Home Office has published case studies containing frank accounts of womens' and girls' experiences of dealing with female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK.
Source: Gov.UK 09 April 2014

In the final episode of Louis Theroux's LA Stories, he spends time with sex offenders on probation. Some of these offenders had been convicted for child sexual abuse. It is available on BBC IPlayer until 15 April 2014.
Source: BBC Online  08 April 2014

The Internet Watch Foundation has published its annual report including an assessment of 50000 reports to its hotline. Last year, reports increased by 31% compared to 2012. It identified 13,182 webpages containing child sexual abuse imagery of these: 51% showed the rape or sexual torture of a child or children; over 80% were of victims aged 10 or under.
Source: Internet Watch Foundation  07 April 2014

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published data which captures progress towards delivering the Troubled Families programme up to December 2013. Meanwhile, a recent report by the Public Accounts Select Committee has warned that the government will miss its targets to turn the lives of these families around unless it speeds up its rate of success.
Source: Department for Communities and Local Government 02 April 2014
Further information:
   CYP Now - Troubled families programme on course to miss targets
   Programmes to help families facing multiple challenges (PDF)

In the US, April is National child abuse prevention month. The official website provides free publications and resources about child protection in the US.
Source: National Child Abuse Prevention Month  01 April 2014

In a new report on a Parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of UK legislation for tackling child sexual exploitation and trafficking, Barnardo's has recommended a change in the law. Currently, police can only arrest someone for the offence of meeting a child with the intention of abusing them following sexual grooming, if at least two contact incidents have occurred before the meeting. Barnardo's wants arrests to be take place after 1 contact incident if it is obvious the intention is to meet and abuse the child.
Source: Children & Young People Now  02 April 2014
Further information:
   Report of the Parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of legislation for tackling child exploitation and trafficking within the UK (PDF)

Child sexual exploitation learning day
This event, organised by Oxfordshire County Council, takes place in Oxford on 16 May 2014.
Source: Oxfordshire County Council

The NSPCC have published a current awareness briefing on CEOP's assessment of the risk of child sexual abuse in institutions.
Source: NSPCC Inform  28 March 2014

The NSPCC has published the How safe are our children? 2014 report. It compiles the most robust, up-to-date child protection data that exists across each of the four nations in the UK. Key messages include: child protection is turning into an emergency service which can only react to the most serious cases due to insufficient early support services, more families struggling financially and higher thresholds.
Source: NSPCC Inform  31 March 2014
Further information:
   How safe are our children? 2014

In a written statement to Parliament, the Education Secretary has announced that investigations will take place into allegations of historical child abuse relating to Jimmy Savile which took place in children's homes and schools in England.
Source: Department for Education  27 March 2014

The NSPCC's chief executive, Peter Wanless, writes in the Guardian about how the organisation is meeting the need for robust evidence of what works best in child protection.
Source: Guardian  25 March 2014

How safe are our children? conference 2014
This conference, organised by the NSPCC, takes place on 1-2 April 2014, in London.
Key note speakers include Damian Green, MP, Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims
Source: NSPCC Inform 

The Crown Prosecution Service has announced the first UK prosecutions over female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK. Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena, 31, of Ilford, East London will be prosecuted for an alleged offence while working at the Whittington Hospital in London. Hasan Mohamed, 41, of Holloway, North London, will face a charge of intentionally encouraging FGM.
Source: BBC Online  21 March 2014

The Centre for Social Justice and the youth and community charity, XLP, have published a research paper on girls and gangs. Issues uncovered include: the girls' vulnerability to sexual exploitation; the toll gang life takes on their education; and greater involvement in criminal activity. Solutions to help girls escape from gang association include: mapping the problem; providing effective mentoring; and ensuring gang-affected schools are open to support.
Source: BBC Online  21 March 2014
Further information:
   Girls and gangs (PDF)

To support the government's This is abuse campaign to address violence in teenage relationships, YouTube stars, Jamal Edwards and Mandem on the Wall have produced video blogs aimed at boys to raise awareness of sexting and controlling behaviour.
Source: Home Office Press Release  13 March 2014

BBC London 94.9 has discovered through a Freedom of Information request to NHS Trusts in London that over the last five years, a total of 3,939 girls and women have been treated for health issues related to female genital mutilation (FGM).
Source: BBC Online  19 March 2014

A report by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee has warned that resources currently available to end online child abuse are 'woefully insufficient'. It welcomes the Internet Watch Foundation's (IWF) commitment to embark on proactive searches for images of abuse but fears that the recruitment of 7 additional members of staff might not be enough to meet the objective of eradicating child abuse images on the open internet.
Source: Guardian  19 March 2014
Further information:
   Culture, Media and Sport Committee 6th report: Online safety

How safe are our children? 2014 conference
This conference, organised by the NSPCC, takes place on 1-2 April 2014, in London.
Includes a workshop session on how children disclose abuse and neglect.
Source: NSPCC Inform 

An article by MPs Diana Johnson, Dan Jarvis and Helen Johnson discusses the need to regulate online pornography to prevent easy access to material which normalises sexual violence and abuse and is watched by a large number of children.
Source: Politics.co.uk 17 March 2014

Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) has published the overview report of a serious case review of the sexual and physical abuse and neglect of three girls over a period of many years. A number of disclosures were made, leading to seven police investigations, between 1997 and 2012. Mr A and Mrs A were arrested in 2013 and found guilty of various counts of serious sexual assault, including rape, and child cruelty. Issues identified include: insufficient investigation into whether abuse was a factor in the injuries of a child with a physical disability. Recommendations include: clarifying the relationship between NSCB and the Crown Prosecution Service and considering obtaining their engagement in serious case reviews.
Source: Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board  12 March 2014
Further information:
   Serious case review in respect of Child 1, Child 2 and Child 3 (PDF)

New research from Barnardo's has revealed that young people using their services have been targeted for sexual exploitation through a variety of online mediums including: social networks like Facebook; instant messaging apps like Blackberry Messenger; photosharing apps such as Snapchat; dating apps and via online gaming. The charity has launched a TV advertising campaign to highlight the problem of child sexual exploitation.
Source: Barnardos  14 March 2014
Further information:
   Support the unsupported: Barnardo's TV advert

How safe are our children? conference 2014
This conference, organised by the NSPCC, takes place on 1-2 April 2014, in London.
Includes a workshop with Professor of Criminology, Julia Davidson, on the evolving behaviour of children online.
Source: NSPCC Inform 

At a recent planning event for the creation of a child abuse image database, policing and criminal justice minister, Damian Green MP, raised the issue of online child abuse images becoming more violent, sadistic and extreme.
Source: Guardian  11 March 2014

The government has published an action plan for 2014 for ending violence against women and girls. It sets out its achievements so far and details the focus of activities for the coming year.
Source: Gov.Uk 11 March 2014

The Northern Ireland Executive introduced a new review mechanism on 1 March, enabling sex offenders who are required by law to notify personal information to police indefinitely, to apply to have those requirements reviewed.
Source: Northern Ireland Executive 28 February 2014

An article in the Guardian reports on the controversial decision of Judge Robert Bartfield to hold a 15-year-old victim of sexual abuse in custody for 20 hours to ensure attendance at court.
Source: Guardian  05 March 2014

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has published a study of violence against women in the EU. It was based on interviews with 42000 women in 28 EU member states. Findings include: 44% of women in the UK reported suffering physical or sexual violence since the age of 15. 1 in 10 of all women surveyed suffered sexual violence by an adult before the age of 15.
Source: EU Agency for Fundamental Rights 05 March 2014
Further information:
   Violence against women: an EU-wide survey

The Internet Watch Foundation has published a briefing paper which warns that the emerging digital currency, bitcoin, is being used to trade online child abuse images.
Source: Internet Watch Foundation  04 March 2014
Further information:
   Briefing paper - preliminary analysis of new commercial CSAM website accepting payment by bitcoin (PDF)

A 13-year-old boy who pleaded guilty to rape and two counts of indecent assault and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, has received a 12-month referral order and been placed on the sex offenders register for 2 and half years. The boy, aged 12 at the time, raped his 7-year-old sister after watching hardcore pornography online. Social workers are now working to return him to the family home.
Source: BBC Online  03 March 2014

How safe are our children? conference 2014
This conference, organised by the NSPCC, takes place on 1-2 April 2014, in London.
Key speakers include Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children's Commissioner.
Source: NSPCC Inform 

81% of 2000 people surveyed by YouGov for the NSPCC believe that claims of historic sexual abuse against children and young people should be pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Source: BBC Online  03 March 2014

How safe are our children? conference 2014
This conference, organised by the NSPCC, takes places on 1-2 April, 2014 in London.
Keynote speakers include Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families.
Source: NSPCC Inform 

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has agreed to write to all schools reminding them of their duty to protect pupils in their care from female genital mutilation (FGM). He also agreed to consider how FGM education could be delivered in an age-appropriate way in schools. This comes following his meeting with 17-year-old Fahma Mohamed, who has led a Guardian-backed campaign to raise awareness of FGM in schools.
Source: Guardian  25 February 2014

BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour speaks to a survivor of the Oxford grooming gang and her mother about the 4 years of abuse she suffered and how they have rebuilt their lives. The programme was broadcast in 2 parts.
Source: BBC Radio 4  18 February 2014

Find out about NSPCC services: how you can refer children and families you are working with or where you can find advice to help you protect children and young people from abuse and neglect.
Source: NSPCC Inform  24 February 2014

NSPCC research, commissioned by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, reveals that many of Jimmy Savile's victims were ignored or laughed at when they tried to speak out about his sexual abuse. Others were convinced that no one would believe they had been abused by such a powerful, influential figure, so they remained silent.
Source: NSPCC Press Release  24 February 2014

A new factsheet on assessing parenting capacity has been published on NSPCC Inform.
Source: NSPCC Inform  20 February 2014

In Scotland, the Children and Young People Bill has been passed. Reforms include: looked-after teenagers will have the right to remain in care up to the age of 21 with an extended entitlement to aftercare up to their 26th birthday.
Source: Scottish Government  19 February 2014