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Identifying and disclosing child sexual abuse

This volume describes what we have learned about survivors’ experiences of disclosing child sexual abuse and about the factors that affect a victim’s decision whether to disclose, when to disclose and who to tell.

Summary

This volume describes what we have learned about survivors’ experiences of disclosing child sexual abuse. The experiences of survivors, told to us in private sessions and written accounts, have informed our understanding of the factors that prevent or assist disclosure. We have also drawn on research literature, evidence from our case studies and input from subject matter experts and stakeholders to describe the range of complex factors that affect the disclosure of child sexual abuse and the multiple barriers to disclosure victims and survivors face.

Identifying child sexual abuse in institutional contexts is a critical step in protecting children from potential or ongoing abuse, providing support to children in need, and holding perpetrators accountable for their behaviour. Given the covert nature of child sexual abuse, victims’ and survivors’ disclosure is often the only way that another person might become aware that sexual abuse is, or has been, occurring.

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