Child institution abuse warning

Children in institutions such as schools, churches and care homes are still not safe from abuse, child protection experts have warned in a new report.

Child abuse 'likely when vulnerability meets power'

The sexual exploitation and abuse of children is most likely when vulnerability meets power.

Events of the last year have brought into focus an issue which has, in truth, been in our consciousness for much longer - that there is something about institutions that can amplify both vulnerability and power to a point where sexual abuse of children within them can become endemic.

A common position for those institutions confronted with their past failures is to admit that things did once go wrong but that they have put measures in place to stop it happening again.

There is a risk this will lead to complacency and this must not happen if we want to protect our children.

There is no doubt that more needs to be done - and this work has to be done by the very institutions which are allowing this abuse to take place.

– Peter Davies, director of the NCA's CEOP Command

Children in institutions 'still not safe from abuse'

Experts warn that children in institutions such as schools, churches and care homes are still not safe from abuse. Credit: ITV News

Children in institutions such as schools, churches and care homes are still not safe from abuse, child protection experts have warned in a new report.

More has to be done to keep children in institutions including sports clubs, youth groups and charities safe, the report published today by the National Crime Agency (NCA) warns.

The report, called The Foundations of Abuse, found that children are not only at risk from abusers but from "bystanders" who are aware of abuse but fail to report it.

And it warned that child sex offenders often manipulate victims into believing the attention they get is an "honour", making it hard for them to report abuse.

The report, carried out by the NCA's CEOP Command, is the first "thematic assessment" published by the agency since it was launched three weeks ago and looked at the risk of child sexual abuse by adults in institutions.

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