The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s (IICSA)

16 February 2022

On 1st February, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s (IICSA) released its report summarising its investigation into child sexual exploitation by organized networks. Maggie gave evidence to the inquiry as a core participant.

The report concluded that “The sexual exploitation of children by networks is not a rare phenomenon confined to a small number of areas with high-profile criminal cases. It is a crime which involves the sexual abuse of children in the most degrading and destructive of ways, by multiple perpetrators.” The inquiry “found extensive failures by local authorities and police forces in the ways in which they tackled this sexual abuse” and that victims are “failed, ignored and blamed”.

Alexis Jay OBE, the Chair of IICSA, said “There appeared to be a flawed assumption that child sexual exploitation was on the wane, however it has become even more of a hidden problem”. The report makes six recommendations including something that we have been long calling for which is better data collection by police and routinely recording ethnicity of offenders and victims in an effort to understand the scale of this type of offending within certain populations. By understanding this we can work with communities to understand the drivers behind these trends and work together to educate and break these patterns.

You can read the full report here: IICSA: Child exploitation by organised networks

You can watch Maggie talk about the report findings here: Channel 4 News IICSA coverage

You can read Maggie's full statement to the inquiry here.

We are grateful to the Inquiry and everyone who gave evidence for the analysis. We are not surprised by any of its findings as the key themes are those we see daily when working with survivors at the Foundation and are the same ones which Maggie witnessed almost two decades ago. As with any of these reports and inquiries though, they are of no use unless recommendations are acted upon and our entire system and attitudes within it are overhauled. The time is now!

Please note, our team are taking a short break over Christmas as will not be checking emails regularly. We'll respond once we are back on Tuesday 3rd January. Thank you for understanding.

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