Publish date: 26 November 2020

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When the Lighthouse opened in 2018, it was the first establishment of its kind in the UK, offering a safe place for children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse.

In her new book, Lighthouse delivery and service manager Emma Harewood tells the story of how it all began.

Following the review of the pathway of child sexual abuse in 2015, Emma set out to persuade and influence her colleagues, commissioners and the Government to make a change for children and young people experiencing sexual abuse in London.

Three years later the Lighthouse was opened by UCLH in partnership with Tavistock and Portman, NSPCC, Solace Women’s Aid, Metropolitan Police, Camden LA, Brandon Centre and Respond UK. Now, more than 350 children a year are referred for support.

Based on the original Icelandic Barnahus model, the Lighthouse transforms the recovery process offering medical, social care, therapeutic, investigative and advocacy services all under one roof.

The Lighthouse has trained clinical psychologists leading the police interviews and advocates to walk the journey with the child, with the aim of improving the child’s experience of the criminal justice system and replicating the success of increased prosecutions as seen in Iceland.

Emma said: “I hope this book inspires people that they can be the change for children experiencing child sexual abuse in their area.

Felicity Hunter, paediatric divisional manager, said: "Emma worked tirelessly with a number of organisations both in the UK and internationally on her journey to opening the Lighthouse, the first Child House in the UK.

"Her drive and commitment were inspirational and we are thrilled to be able to provide this life-changing facility for young victims of sexual abuse.

"I would encourage anyone with a similar vision to buy the book."

To purchase a copy please contact Russell House Publishing Ltd, telephone 01297 43948 or e-mail, alternatively your purchase can be made via

To watch the online launch visit the International Child Hub YouTube channel on 26 November from 6pm to 7pm by clicking here.