Protecting children from harm

A critical assessment of child sexual abuse in the family network in England and priorities for action

This is the first report of the Children's Commissioner's inquiry into child sex abuse within the family and its network. Although child sex abuse is the subject of considerable public concern, abuse within families has been largely absent from the national conversation. This is despite the fact that the majority of victims are abused by someone within their family network, which has a particular impact on the victims themselves and the entire family structure. This report is a critical analysis of the scale and nature of this form of child sex abuse, bringing to light revealing statistics about the extent of abuse known to authorities and estimates of that which goes unreported. 


Report downloads

You can also view our press release which accompanied the report publication, and responses to the report from professionals in the field


Help and support

If you are a child or young person who is affected by sexual abuse, you can call ChildLine for free advice and support 24 hours a day on 0800 1111.

If you are an adult who experienced sexual abuse as a child and would like to talk to someone about it you can contact the organisations below:

  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood – 0808 801 0331
    Open 10am – 9pm Monday to Thursday, 10am – 6pm on Friday. NAPAC offer specialist support for people abused in childhood. 
  • Rape Crisis – 0808 802 9999
    The helpline is open 12am – 2.30pm and 7 – 9.30pm. Call the national Rape Crisis helpline to speak to a trained worker, who can also tell you where your nearest services are located if you would like face-to-face support or counselling.  
  • The Survivors Trust
    Find help, support and advice in your area: Survivors Trust directory of services.  

If you are an adult who is concerned that a child or young person may be being abused call the NSPCC helpline on
0808 800 5000

In an emergency call the Police on 999.


#hiddenabuse: online discussion around the report publication