Children with disability have a right to support and safety not only to prevent harm from adults, but also from their peers. Young people with disability may be less able to protect themselves from abuse than their non-disabled peers. So the role of adults is an important element in keeping them safe.

What do we know about how well equipped specialist school staff are to respond to child sexual abuse among children? This report presents findings from a study that examined the following questions:

  • What do staff know about peer-to-peer child sexual abuse among children with disability?
  • What do staff know about how to intervene?
  • What are staff attitudes about peer-to-peer child sexual abuse?
  • What skills do staff use to respond to problems that arise when dealing with peer-to-peer child sexual abuse? 

Many of the participants in this study felt they knew the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour and could respond to child sexual abuse. However, they expressed a need for further training including training specific to responding to children with disability. Participants were not afraid of intervening though they tended to reflect on the complexities and array of considerations required in decisions.

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