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Child’s Play or Sexual Abuse? Reviewing the Efficacy of the Justice Framework in Dealing with Child on Child Sexual Abuse in the United Kingdom

Craig, Elaine (2020) Child’s Play or Sexual Abuse? Reviewing the Efficacy of the Justice Framework in Dealing with Child on Child Sexual Abuse in the United Kingdom. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. ISSN 1053-8712

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Abstract

This literature review appraises how the justice system of the United Kingdom deals with child on child sexual abuse allegations. It is crucial to consider the impact of minor sexual abuse within the community. Sensationalized reporting of sex crimes demonizes offenders and unintentionally hides some perpetrators by not representing children can cause harm. Cases where children demonstrate sexual agency are confusing and uncomfortable to appropriate blame. A freedom of information request to the Metropolitan Police uncovered 5,500 minor sex abuse allegations in England and Wales between 2011 and 2014, includ- ing, 4,000 physical assaults and 600 rape allegations. Officials caution these figures only represent a small proportion of known sexual abuse cases but the full extent of the problem is yet to be seen. Children are being exposed to explicit imagery far beyond their developmental age causing a blurring of the lines between normal sexual curiosity, harmful behavior, sexual deviance, and abuse. Evidence suggests societal failings and technological advances have created vulnerabilities from which new and dangerous sexual norms have evolved. Therefore, this paper reviews the justice, welfare, and restorative justice frame- works to explore the efficacy of the justice system in dealing with child on child sexual abuse in the UK.

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