We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Sociology

Completed Projects

Mapping and Exploring Services for Children and Young People who have Sexually Abused

A research project of the Department of Sociology.


Although sexual abuse by adolescents constitutes a significant proportion of all sexual abuse committed in the UK and Northern Ireland, services designed to prevent and respond to such behaviour are in their relative infancy, with previous research highlighting the problematic nature of their piecemeal development. Services span health, criminal justice and statutory social service sectors, as well as the voluntary and private sectors. To date, there has been little overall sense in the UK of who is offering services, on what basis and to which populations of young people, nor of gaps in services, policy and research directions. There are also few UK studies on treatment efficacy. In addition, there has been little, if any published research into the experiences and views of young people, and their families, who receive such services.


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • Mapping And Exploring Services (£77367.00 from NSPCC)


  • to investigate current developments in the UK and the Republic of Ireland in services for young people who sexually abuse, including their organisational, theoretical and policy bases; and
  • to explore the experiences of young people and their families receiving such services.


Following an initial literature review, a three-stage study was undertaken:

  • a comprehensive mapping exercise relating to services to young people and their families across the UK and ROI, including practices, policies and procedures;
  • two distinct Delphi exercises, collecting views and opinions of key experts in the field in order to inform the work of the Committee on need, standards and principles of practice;
  • a qualitative study of service user perspectives from a variety of sites across the UK and ROI which collected users' views, opinions and experiences of the services offered to them.


From the Department of Sociology

Related links