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Tackling Child Sexual Abuse

View profile for Malcolm Underhill
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Tackling Child Sexual Abuse

Go back a generation or so and you will find relatively little written about childhood sexual abuse. There was a time when these horrific crimes could be committed with impunity; the abusers facing little risk of being caught. Even if allegations of childhood sexual abuse were made, it was frequently the case they were not believed. There is no better example of suspicions about childhood sexual abuse than the case of Jimmy Savile.

Times have Changed

Thankfully times have changed. Children are much better protected at home, school and elsewhere, with safeguarding policies found in environments where there is a risk to the safety of a child. We see a continuing increase in the number of reported crimes and convictions although threats continue, including new threats to our children, with online sexual abuse.

The government has played its part in attempts at reducing the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse and the support they provide to victims.

In January 2021 the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, launched a new strategy, to tackle child abuse in all its forms. The Tackling Child Abuse Strategy 2021 focuses on three objectives to address the “complex, interconnected nature of this crime and the whole system response it requires”.

The Government’s 3 Objectives

  • tackling all forms of child sexual abuse and bringing offenders to justice
  • preventing offending and reoffending
  • protecting and safeguarding children and young people, and supporting victims and survivors.

Protecting all victims and survivors of recent and non-recent sexual abuse

The government professes that it is committed to providing victim survivors of sexual abuse to high quality support. I am pleased that they recognise that child sexual abuse can have “devastating and wide ranging consequences for victims and survivors” and that these individuals will require different kinds of support, targeted at their specific needs.

The government recognises that is not always possible for victims and survivors to access this support as those services “can be disjointed and difficult to navigate”. This is in part due to the complex relationship between various service providers, charities and voluntary groups. Therefore, the government is intent on developing a Victims Funding Strategy to underpin this new strategy.

The government states that it has doubled funding available to organisations, supporting victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, to £2.4 million, from 2022 2022. However, whilst I applaud this additional funding, hoping it is not recycling old money, I’m concerned that this will still not be sufficient to provide the support victims and survivors of recent and non-recent child sexual abuse need. From my experience of supporting survivors of childhood abuse, the Government funding to each individual is often limited, in time, as to the number of sessions available to provide therapy and counselling.

Compensation for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

That is why I recommend a survivor claim compensation from those responsible, to ensure that the survivor receives full compensation and justice, which fully reflects the harm they have suffered, both financially and upon their mental health.

Money on its own can never be a substitute for the harm suffered, but it can go a long way to enable someone to rebuild their life, to recover from the mental trauma, to obtain training and work. It is essential that we support survivors so that they do not have to carry the consequences of the harm they suffered in childhood, their entire life. They require support so that they may jettison the pain of the past, mapping out a brighter future for their health, their work and relationships. Abusers must pay for their crimes, both in serving a long sentence for sexual assault and paying compensation for the harm.

Contact our Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers today

Contact our no win, no fee child abuse solicitors now, for advice on how to make a claim for the harm caused by abuse, including strangulation, or to simply consider what options and possibilities are available, without any obligation. Call us today on 0333 123 9099, email enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or fill in our online form.

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