This is the third report in a three-part publication series by the NSPCC exploring the relationship between neglect in childhood and other forms of harm. This final contribution examines the link between experiencing neglect and engaging in harmful sexual behaviour (either towards oneself or others). The report encourages readers to "bear in mind that there has been an unfortunate tendency to pathologise and demonise children and young people who present with HSB". In fact it should always be remembered that children are children first and foremost. This report seeks to rectify some of the trends which have emerged during the last 20 years where the focus has been on linking children who display HSB with later sex offences. While there may be such a link, to over emphasize this is harmful to children and does not pay sufficient attention to the links which exist between HSB and childhood neglect. Thus, children displaying HSB should be regarded as in need of support networks.
Other publications in the series: