I frequently point to the Soham tragedy of 2002 as a turning point on the issue of child protection, although changes were already in hand to improve the safeguarding of children, by undertaking a more comprehensive criminal records check of those having access to children. Those procedures have continually been reviewed by government and institutions, to respond to the continuing threat of childhood sexual abuse by pernicious paedophiles.
Sexual abuse of children is highly damaging, the effects of the assaults do not stop when the abuse stops. Unfortunately, it continues and can cause lifelong harm, impacting upon education, work, family and relationships.
Advice for Families
If your child has been affected by childhood sexual abuse, contact our no win, no fee child abuse solicitors now, for advice on how to make a claim for the harm caused by abuse, or to simply consider what options and possibilities are available, without any obligation. Call us today on 0333 123 9099, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online form.
Criminal Record Checks
The criminal record checks, institutions’ processes, practice and procedures for identifying those considered unsuitable to work with children play an important role in the protection of young people. However, there is a risk that organisations become complacent, confident in their processes, satisfied that the administrative procedures are sufficiently robust to identify paedophiles endeavouring to penetrate the safeguarding measures to protect children.
We know from media reports and from details I have collated over the last few years that those intent on sexually assaulting children and young people manage to navigate through the protective measures taken by organisations to detect their presence. As a further illustration of how this continues to occur, the 2019 annual report of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission reported 18 cases of allegations of abuse, that related to assaults since 2001.
Paedophiles escape detection
One group of paedophiles who escape detection are those who have no history of sexual abuse against children or have not been identified as potential risks to young people. It will always remain difficult to identify this group of paedophiles and therefore additional steps, beyond administrative processes, must be taken to catch paedophiles before they cause commit sexual assaults and resulting harm.
Eyes and Ears
Those steps are adults using their senses. We must all use our eyes and ears, remaining vigilant against those who seek to deceive us. There will be times when there are no signs displayed, to indicate the paedophiles intent. However, there will be some individuals who let their guard down or do not appreciate by their behaviour and words they are giving the signs of an adult intent on causing harm to a child.
Paedophiles do not necessarily stand out in the crowd. They look like you and I. It is unlikely that there will be obvious distinguishing features that suggest they are a paedophile. Indeed, it is important not to make decisions based on preconceptions about the appearance of a paedophile.
Nevertheless, there may be personality traits, demeanours, or conduct that leads an adult to be justifiably concerned as to why a particular individual has an interest in children.
If concerns are raised, the complainant may be concerned about making allegations against someone which do not have substance. There are potential repercussions, such as embarrassment for the accuser, and repercussions for the person accused. Therefore, it is important to be careful when forming opinions based on demeanour, personality and language used by another person. Consequently, if suspicions are raised, it is sensible to talk to others and take their view, before proceeding. Of course, there are many organisations that have rules about reporting concerns. These rules and procedures must be followed.
There is not one action alone that will detect a paedophile, other than a DBS, criminal records check, which identifies an individual as having a criminal record relating to children. Outside of that, it will be a combination of applying government, local authority and an organisations’ own processes, to detect paedophiles. In addition, once in post, individuals must use their eyes and ears, remaining vigilant against those intent on abusing children and young people.
Contact our Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers today
Contact our no win, no fee child abuse solicitors now, for advice on how to make a claim for the harm caused by abuse, or to simply consider what options and possibilities are available, without any obligation. Call us today on 0333 123 9099, email email@example.com or fill in our online form.