Fifteen years ago, most people didn’t realise the extent of child sexual abuse and exploitation, didn’t understand it could happen to anyone or anywhere and weren’t able to recognise the signs. Specialist support through charities or local authorities or the police was largely non-existent. There wasn’t even a specific crime that referred to grooming – although rape and sexual assault were definitely crimes however convictions were still very low. Consent was misunderstood by the victims and those supporting the victims and those in authority. Prejudices about what a victim “should” look or sound like during police statements or in court were also common.
Too often we hear of criminal justice experience not taking the victim into account as well as it could – but now and again we also see and hear of examples of good practice – both of which we want to highlight in this conference in order to make a real difference to victims of CSA/E across the country. This unique 1 day conference gives you the chance to see the criminal justice system like you have never seen it before. The conference offers a choice of workshops and lectures, giving you the chance to learn from a range of high profile speakers- survivors and their family members, senior representatives from central government, survivors, highly experienced practitioners, and academia sharing their practical experience and the latest research. In sharing innovative work across the UK, this conference offers true value for money, enabling participants to gain unique insights from a range of perspectives to take back into practice.