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Evidence sessions

Parliamentary inquiry: Support and sanctions for children who display harmful sexual behaviour

A panel of MPs will take evidence from witnesses over three evidence sessions.

Chair of inquiry:

Nusrat Ghani MP (Con)

Other members of the panel include:

  • Baroness Benjamin (LD)
  • Peter Dowd MP (Lab)
  • David Hanson MP (Lab)
  • George Howarth MP (Lab)
  • Kelly Tolhurst MP (Con)
  • Kit Malthouse MP (Con)
  • Stephen McPartland MP (Con)
  • Virendra Sharma MP (Lab)

Session 1: Understanding harmful sexual behaviour and the children and young people who display it

Summary (pdf)

The first session introduced harmful sexual behaviour to the panel by looking into issues such as how should we define harmful sexual behaviour, why should we talk about it now and how should we respond to it. The session also explored the children and young people who display harmful sexual behaviour, by getting an understanding of their backgrounds, how prior experiences of abuse affect them and why they display harmful sexual behaviour.


  • Stuart Allardyce, Children’s Service Manager, Barnardo’s
  • Jon Brown, Head of Development and Impact, NSPCC
  • Donald Findlater, Director, Stop it Now!; Director of Research and Development, Lucy Faithful Foundation
  • Professor Simon Hackett, Durham University
  • Dr Eileen Vizard CBE, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist; Senior Lecturer, University College London; Visiting Professor, New York University in London

Session 2: Responses to harmful sexual behaviour and prevention of further harm

Summary (pdf)

The second session looked into how police and schools respond to children who display harmful sexual behaviour and the role they play in prevention. The session explored issues such as the prevalence of harmful sexual behaviour, identification and support for children and young people, criminalisation and the role of social media.


  • Chief Constable Simon Bailey, National Police Chiefs' Council Lead for Child Protection Abuse Investigation
  • Gareth Edwards, Principal Policy and Performance Adviser, National Police Chiefs' Council
  • Sarah Hannafin, Policy Advisor, National Association of Head Teachers

Session 3: Hearing directly from young people

Summary (pdf)

In the third session the panel heard directly from young people with experience of harmful sexual behaviour. Attendance at this session was limited to the panel and Barnardo’s staff.


  • Peter Clarke, Director of Friends Therapeutic Community Trust, Glebe House
  • Three young people from Glebe House

For further information, please contact Ditte Heede: | 0758 4270 700