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Family-abuse children 'unprotected', commissioner warns

"Alarming gaps" in knowledge about abuse within families mean "substantial numbers" of children are not adequately protected, England's deputy children's commissioner Sue Berelowitz has said.

Her warning comes as a report based on an analysis of 57,226 research studies into child sexual abuse is published.

The Office of the Children's Commissioner has launched an inquiry into how best to tackle the problem.

The two-year inquiry will look at sexual abuse within the family.

The report - It's a lonely journey - is based on an analysis of 57,226 research studies into child sexual abuse.

The study, carried out for the Office of the Children's Commissioner by researchers at Middlesex University, found "glaring omissions" in what was known about abuse in family environments.

This includes an "almost complete lack" of research directly looking into children and young people's experiences of what would help to prevent the abuse or to support those who have been abused.

The report highlights a particular lack of knowledge about the experiences of disabled children and those from minority ethnic groups.

It also finds that most services to support people who have experienced child sexual abuse within a family context are targeted at adult survivors rather than at children.

For the full story and related articles, please see the BBC News website.

[Text copyright 2014 BBC News]