From who … to where? A geographical approach to peer-on-peer sexual abuse

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Child protection systems in many western countries have developed with the aim of protecting young people from harm within families and by adults. But young people encounter harm in places outside of the home, and by peers. This raises a challenge for practitioners who must now consider new ways to protect young people from harm. In this article, I focus on peer-on-peer sexual abuse. I reveal how child protection systems focussed on individuals–who?–fail to account for the places harm happens–where? I bring together two theories – situated agency with contextual safeguarding. These provide a lens to understand how young people navigate unsafe places, and how practitioners understand and respond to the spatially contingent nature of abuse. I present data from meeting observations, focus groups and case reviews to argue that a geographical child protection model would equip practitioners with a preventative approach to protecting young people.




Lloyd, J. (2019). From who … to where? A geographical approach to peer-on-peer sexual abuse. Children’s Geographies.

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