Child sexual abuse and exploitation

Peach, DM ORCID: 2019, 'Child sexual abuse and exploitation' , in: Social Work and Society: Political and Ideological Perspectives , Policy Press, Bristol, UK, pp. 185-199.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (199kB) | Request a copy
[img] Microsoft Word - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (51kB) | Request a copy


The sexual abuse and exploitation of children has endured, and continues, on what is arguably an unimaginable scale, with the World Health Organization (WHO and ISPCAN, 2006) estimating that worldwide 223 million children experience child sexual abuse (CSA). The multiple terms used to define the sexual abuse and exploitation of children are intertwined with the political interest and newly acquired or rediscovered attention that precipitates public attention on such abuse (Brown and Barrett, 2013). In the UK, the difference in terminology, and the justification for the legal and social abhorrence, or tolerance, of the sexual abuse of children has largely been dependent on the familial or commercial relationship between the adult and the child. Thus, a child who is abused by a member or close friend of their family is currently considered to have been subject to CSA, whereas a child subject to abuse by someone beyond their family is now constructed as being exploited. This chapter explores the various terms that construct what is deemed a sexual offence against a child and critiques the problematic nature of this binary model. In doing so, it will explore the definition of childhood and the broad range of ages that different countries use in legislating on the ability to consent to sexual activity. Given the prolific nature of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation, many of you may have experienced this type of trauma or may know someone who has. You are not alone. We are all human, and too many of us are not sheltered from the impact of abuse. Therefore, I would like to affirm the importance of good self-care and of seeking support when you deem it necessary. Knowing when to seek support is a key function in maintaining our wellbeing and ensuring the quality of our practice. With that said, this chapter interrogates the policies that intertwine with social work practice, to construct what is deemed to constitute CSA and exploitation and how we respond (or not) to it.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Pollock, S, Parkinson, KP and Cummins, ID
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Publisher: Policy Press
ISBN: 9781447344704
Related URLs:
Depositing User: DM Peach
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2020 08:36
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 05:27

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year