CSA/CE Research Special Interest Group

The CSA/CE Special Interest Group (SIG) was established in June 2019 to further support and collaboration among individuals interested in the area of research and evidence-informed practice in relation to Child Sexual Abuse and Child Exploitation.

Broadly this SIG seeks to advocate for a child and victim-focused system by working together to bring about significant changes in policy and/or legislation, relevant to child sexual abuse and perpetrators in Ireland.

The group is open to all members of the Children’s Research Network.

The Group is convened by a Chair Eimear Lacey and is supported by the Research Coordinator of the Children’s Research Network. Contact ChildrensResearchNetwork@tcd.ie about membership.

Recent Publications "Child sexual abuse disclosures: Does age make a difference?"

In December 2019, CSA/CE SIG member, Dr Rosaleen McElvaney and her colleagues published their piece "Child sexual abuse disclosures: Does age make a difference?" in Child Abuse and Neglect.

Free access until 31st January 2020 through this link!



The literature is inconsistent as to the relationship between age at time of abuse and time to disclosure of child sexual abuse (CSA) and the factors that influence early disclosure.


This study sought to investigate the relationship between age of child at time of disclosure, taking account of age at time of abuse, delay in disclosure, and the relationship, if any, between factors influencing disclosure (feeling distressed, being believed, fear, contact with alleged perpetrator, difficulty saying it, and being asked) and age at time of disclosure.

Participants and Setting

The files of children (n=273) seen for evaluation in a child sexual abuse (CSA) centre were reviewed.


Demographic information and data relating to the child's experience of informal disclosure were extracted from children's evaluation reports, based on interviews with children and their parents, where professionals deemed that a credible account of CSA has been given.


A significant relationship was found between age at time of abuse and age at time of disclosure (χ2 (16) = 261.434, p < 0.05), whereby children were more likely to tell within the developmental period during which they were abused than within any other period; this pattern increased across each age category. Overall, no specific psychological factors were found to be predictive of early disclosure.


The findings suggest that children of all ages need to be targeted for prevention efforts and a larger study is needed to investigate whether some psychological factors are more predictive of disclosure than others.


Subjects of Interest