Public Understanding of Child Sexual Exploitation

Barnardo’s Scotland


Date of publication:  01 Mar 2019 Author:  Dr Ruth Friskney Publisher:  Barnardo’s Scotland - Believe in Children Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

A pilot national survey was conducted in 2018 in Scotland, analyzing public understanding of child sexual abuse. This report is a summary of findings based on over 1000 adults who took part in the survey. The research findings offer a good starting point for policy makers to tailor their awareness raising campaigns and other efforts to address the most common misconceptions about this issue in the public and reach their target groups with effective messages.

In this report you can find out about the survey methodology, what is considered as child sexual exploitation in Scotland, as well as survey findings, including public understanding of what child sexual exploitation looks like, who carries out and who is affected by it.

The key findings from the report are:

  • Public understanding of this phenomenon is still complex and often includes different concepts in different contexts, sometimes even contradictory
  • Women seem to be more engaged in the topic than men
  • People tend to think child sexual exploitation is an issue elsewhere, but not locally
  • There is a lack of understanding that older children can be affected and that children may carry out the exploitation
Total number of pages: 
Country(s) this content is relevant to: 
United Kingdom

This project is funded by:


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