According to a report published by Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield, up to 85% of child sex abuse goes unreported.
Around 50,000 cases were recorded from April 2012 to March 2014 but the report suggests the actual number is as high as 450,000, with two-thirds of cases taking place within the family environment.
The report, the most detailed analysis of child sex abuse in England to date, examined information from a range of sources, including police and local councils.
It calls for a major strategy by government to prevent child abuse, including teaching children about healthy and safe relationships, and ensuring all police forces record child sexual abuse-related crimes.
Feelings of guilt and shame can often dissuade a child who has suffered sexual abuse from reporting the matter.
One victim told the BBC: “There was shame around me, but it never registered that it was him, not me, who should feel shame.”
While the Jimmy Savile case in 2012 was seen as a watershed moment in the way in which child abuse was investigated, it seems there is still a problem in the way the issue is dealt with.
For those who have suffered abuse, revealing to a solicitor the details of what has happened can be incredibly difficult – and sometimes enough to persuade them to opt against reporting the matter.
There is also a misconception that there is little point in reporting abuse that took place many years ago.
However, the courts are there to ensure victims obtain the justice to which they are entitled – and at Gotelee Solicitors, our specialist team of lawyers offer sensitive care and expert guidance.
The law firm, which has offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe and Hadleigh, is partnered with Ipswich charity Survivors in Transition (SiT) to help navigate victims through a potentially emotionally testing process. SiT aims to empower survivors to take control of their lives and cope better with the daily effects the abuse has left them with.
Gotelee was delighted to support the charity’s ‘Focus on Survivors’ conference at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich last month.
Gotelee is also a proud member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, boasting a team of experts, including doctors, counsellors, psychiatrists and specialist barristers.