The key message in relation to this e-learning course is that abuse is almost always deliberate or intentional. That is especially true of sexual abuse, which is almost invariably premeditated as illustrated by the difficulty of envisaging scenarios in which a child might accidentally or inadvertently be subject to sexual abuse. Other forms of abusive behaviour are also deliberate or intentional, but may not be premeditated. In these cases it is easier to find examples of grey areas where a child has suffered harm but it is not clear whether what happened was abuse, that is, deliberate or intentional, or whether it might have been accidental or inadvertent.

Although the first session of the workshop focuses more on child sexual abuse and abusers, it is important to remember that children may experience a range of different kinds of abuse and that safer recruitment is interested in preventing all of them. In reality, while our emphasis on the risks presented by adult staff and volunteers in organisations may focus more on the prevention of physical and sexual abuse, engaging all staff in setting a healthy staff culture ought to impact on all aspects of abuse.

Definitions of Abuse:

  • Safer Recruitment focuses on child sex abusers and abusers
  • Children may experience different kinds of abuse
  • Safer Recruitment is interested in preventing all of them
  • All staff should be engaged in a healthy staff culture to prevent all kinds of abuse

Four Main Types of Abuse:

Each of the four types of abuse are represented below by an image with accompanying text underneath. Read through each form of abuse by slowly dragging the selector to the right until you have read and familiarised yourself with all four categories:



The image below contains several key reasons why some children do not report abuse. Select each of the tick icons (√) to better understand the reasons behind children avoiding disclosure of abuse:


Learner Exercise: Identifying Signs

The four categories of abuse are listed according to the Children Act 2004 and the publication “Keeping Children Safe in Education”, September 2019. With these main categories of abuse in mind, list three examples of indicators for each category that you might flag up that abuse is taking place. These aren’t actual cases but hypothetical examples. e.g. if a child showed up to your class with bruises – this might be an example of physical abuse. Try to think of three examples for each

Safeguarding Failures and Resulting Legislation:

Now lets learn or review some of the key high profile safeguarding failures and the resulting legislation that was introduced as a result of these failures, by working through the following presentation. Select the left and right arrows underneath the image to advance through key areas of information contained on each the slides:



The image below contains a quick review of the key failures of safeguarding as determined by a Serious Case Review (SCR). Select each of the plus icons (+) to reveal each important point and consider how you might learn from these mistakes:



The following graphic contains a number of images and corresponding statistics and identifiers for sex offenders. Click the “turn” button at the bottom centre of the image card to reveal the information. Then proceed through the remaining identifier cards by selecting the blue arrow at the bottom right of each card:



Purveyors of child pornography possess a tendency toward the sexual abuse of children. It is for this reason that we must be aware that abusers can come from all walks of life.

The image below contains real life examples and statistics of those arrested for indecent images of children. Select each of the exclamation icons (!) to reveal important information to help you identify where these offenders come from:

How Offenders Operate: The Finkelhor Model

This model helps to explain the process of CSA and offender behaviour. This is the process that is engaged in by offenders, the vast majority of which are not mentally ill. Within the model there are four pre-conditions that need to be satisfied before abuse takes place: Run through briefly then in more detail:
  1. The abuser develops a motivation to abuse.
  2. The abuser overcomes his or her internal inhibitors, or conscience.
  3. The abuser overcomes external inhibitors – essentially other people who might have prevented abuse and protected the child.
  4. The abuser overcomes the child’s own resistance through coercion, intimidation, fear, etc.

Select the arrows to the left of each stage & application of the Finkelhor Model in the accordion below to discover the mindset and methods or predator pedophiles and how to use this knowledge to better safeguard children in your care:


Knowledge Test: Module One

The following section contains a number of knowledge test questions to help you retain the information you’ve learned on this module:



Upon completion of this module’s material above, select the “mark complete” or “next module” button below to record your progress. This will save your place and your work on the course thus far and will enable you to complete the assessment at the end of the course.