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Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) - Recognising the signs

Most children and young people do not tell anyone at the time of their abuse, or are more likely to tell a friend or family member than to speak to a professional.

Children may not understand that what is happening to them is wrong or inappropriate. They may have been threatened and be scared to say anything. Recognising signs of sexual abuse may be the first step in helping children to have their voice heard.

The following toolkits will help you as professionals to assess and identify your concerns. 

Harmful Sexual Behaviours(HSB):

The Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool and associated training options can be accessed on the Brook website here. The Brook tool is designed primarily to help professionals to identify, understand and respond appropriately to sexual behaviours in young people.

Other useful resources available include:

  • Gweres Kernow HSB service  - a team of specialist social workers and consultant clinical psychologists who work in partnership with other services to safeguard children who have displayed harmful sexual behaviours and those at risk of sexual abuse to address the health and wellbeing of those children and young people who display harmful sexual behaviours with the aim of reducing offending and re-offending. For advice and consultation contact Gweres Kernow on 01872 326791
  • SARC - The Sexual Assault Referral Centre, where staff are specially trained to support anyone who experienced rape or sexual assault, whether recently or in the past. 24 hour helpline : 0300 3034626    
  • This Service Mapping Poster provides a guide for professionals to available services and how to access these.
  • Harmful Sexual Behaviours Practice guidance document


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