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Request for literature: the scale of online-facilitated child sexual abuse and exploitation

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has commissioned the University of Huddersfield to undertake a rapid evidence assessment of academic and unpublished (grey) literature, and data sources that can be used to quantify the scale of online-facilitated child sexual abuse (CSA) and exploitation. They are asking organisations to let them know about any unpublished literature or ongoing research in this area. The findings will help pinpoint areas where further research is needed and inform the Inquiry’s investigation into the Internet and child sexual exploitation.

Operation Sanctuary

A series of trials at Newcastle Crown Court under the banners Operation Sanctuary and Operation Shelter ended this week and reporting restrictions have been lifted. Successful convictions were obtained for 93 offences of sexual exploitation against vulnerable females with some related drugs and other offences.

New Law Needed to Make “Upskirting” a Sexual Offence

Dame Vera Baird QC and Marc Jones, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Lead and Deputy Lead on Victims, have called for new legislation to tackle the invasive and appalling practice of “upskirting”. In response to recent reports and a public petition regarding the practice referred to as “upskirting” whereby a person takes a photograph up a woman’s skirt for their own sexual gratification, the PCCs have written to the Justice Secretary calling for the criminalisation of this behaviour by bringing forward legislation in the forthcoming Courts Bill to update the Sexual Offences Act

Modern slavery and trafficking 'in every UK town and city'

Modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK is "far more prevalent than previously thought," the National Crime Agency has said. The NCA said there were more than 300 live policing operations currently, with cases affecting "every large town and city in the country". The agency estimated that there were tens of thousands of victims. It said previous estimates of 10,000-13,000 victims in the UK were found to be the "tip of the iceberg".

Press Association research reveals children as young as five have been disciplined for abuse, assault and sharing indecent images

Figures obtained via a freedom of information request by the Press Association from 15 local authorities found 754 children had been expelled or temporarily excluded from school as a result of sexual misconduct in the past four years, the Guardian reported. The research reveals that pupils are being disciplined for a wide range of incidents described as sexual misconduct, including bullying and “lewd” behaviour, as well as sharing indecent images on social media.

Sentences for coercive control must reflect the severity of the crime

Hilary Fisher, Women’s Aid Director of Research, Policy and Campaigns comments on the recent case of Harley Smith who was convicted of coercive control: “Harley Smith’s lenient sentencing sends a dangerous message. Chelsea Bush’s life was made an absolute misery during the two years she was abused by her then-boyfriend Harley Smith. Smith tried to cut Chelsea’s contact with her family and friends, he restricted her access to her bank account, he snapped her SIM card so she lost all of her contacts, and he also physically assaulted her.

Councils warn that sexual health services are at tipping point

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, says that sexual health services are at a tipping point after demand increased by a quarter in the past five years, while funding has been cut.In 2016 there were 2,456,779 new attendances at sexual health clinics compared with 1,941,801 in 2012. The LGA says that the Government’s cuts to councils’ public health budgets of £531 million – a reduction of nearly 10 per cent – has left local authorities struggling to keep up with increased demand for sexual he

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