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The Eradicating Child Sexual Abuse Project (ECSA) – Taking the next steps in prevention

Donald Findlater

This keynote will outline the work of a major project to develop an international child sexual abuse prevention toolkit that can be used by a nation, area or region to develop a considered and credible strategy for the prevention of child sexual abuse.

The ECSA toolkit aims to guide users through the process of creating a child sexual abuse prevention strategy and build a plan to prevent child sexual abuse based on their understanding of the place they are in and the particular problems children face. This keynote will outline the work of the project to date in a range of different international jurisdictions as well as looking at future plans and outlining how delegates can help shape this resource so that it can have practical utility for practitioners internationally. 


Following a career in the Probation Service with responsibility for sex offender assessment and treatment, Donald joined child protection charity, The Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF), in 1995 to Manage the Wolvercote Clinic. Wolvercote was the UK’s only residential assessment and treatment centre for men with allegations of or convictions for child sexual abuse. In 2002, with funding from the Home Office, he set up two child sexual abuse prevention initiatives – Stop it Now! UK & Ireland (a child sexual abuse prevention campaign, supported by a confidential helpline) and Circles of Support and Accountability (a project utilising volunteers to support convicted sex offenders to live safely in the community). He has, more recently, been responsible for developing the child sexual abuse prevention website for parents and carers, Parents Protect (www.parentsprotect.co.uk); and ECSA ( Eradicating Child Sexual Abuse) – a toolkit for communities across the globe that assists in the development of evidence-informed child sexual abuse prevention strategies (https://ecsa.lucyfaithfull.org/).

 Following the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by school caretaker, Ian Huntley, in 2002 Donald assisted the UK Government’s Department of Education in designing “Safer Recruitment” Training for senior school staff. He was a Board Member of the Independent Safeguarding Authority and the Disclosure and Barring Service for 4 years. With a background in the church, Donald has taken a close interest in churches’ responses to sexual offending, offenders, victims and survivors over many years. He sits on the Diocese of Guildford’s Safeguarding Panel as well as on the Church of England National Safeguarding Panel. 

Donald formally left LFF in 2016, but continues as Child Safeguarding Consultant to the Foundation, leading work involved in deterring child pornography offending as well as helping overseas nations and communities develop child sexual abuse prevention strategies. He believes that child sexual abuse is preventable, not inevitable. But that there needs to be a plan!