Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit joins ground-breaking Centre of Expertise consortium

London Met’s Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit has been announced as part of a consortium to bring about significant change in how child sexual abuse is responded to.

Date: 16 February 2017

London Met’s Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) has been selected to form part of a consortium to bring about change in child sexual abuse, it has been announced this morning.

The ground-breaking £7.5 million Centre of Expertise will become the definitive source of research and innovation on tackling child sexual abuse and exploitation, as part of a wider project to protect children and pursue offenders.

Dr Maddy Coy, Deputy Director of CWASU and Course Leader for MA Woman and Child Abuse, said: “CWASU was set up to develop knowledge on sexual abuse of children and take this into professional practice. Thirty years later, with sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the policy and public spotlight, we are delighted to be consortium partners in the new Centre for Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse and look forward to contributing our research, practice and teaching knowledge.”

The Centre of Expertise will be led by Barnardo’s and include a diverse range of health, law enforcement and social care professionals, charities and academics.

London Met will work alongside a number of other universities including Newcastle, Cardiff, Coventry, Birmingham, Durham and Lincoln.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “Children should be able to grow up free from the horrors of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking. Something that should go without saying, but sadly that's not the case.

"This Government has done more than any other to tackle these horrific offences. We have increased support for victims of sexual abuse, invested in training and technology to improve law enforcement's response to abuse both on and offline, and brought in a tougher inspection regime to ensure all front-line professions are meeting their child protection duties.

“But there is more to do, the measures I am announcing today will further improve our ability to protect children, and under my watch I am determined to bring those that would try to steal their childhood to justice.”

The Centre of Expertise is part of a wider £40 million package of Government measures to protect children and young people from sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking, and to crack down on offenders.

In addition to the launch of the new Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse, an extra £20 million will be awarded to the National Crime Agency to tackle online child sexual exploitation, £2.2 million provided for organisations working to protect children at risk of trafficking and Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTAs) will be launched in three early-adopter sites across the UK.