The publicity surrounding high profile child sex abuse investigations has encouraged victims in Suffolk to come forward and report the abuse they suffered.
The prosecutions of Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris along with exploitation scandals in Rotherham and Rochdale has led to a rise in the number of survivors reporting sexual offences in the county.
According to the NSPCC, 630 victims have contacted police to report abuse in the last four years, with a spike in 2016/17, while in Essex police received information on 546 incidents in the last year alone.
Detective Chief Inspector Barry Byford told the East Anglian Daily Times the increase is the result of victims having greater confidence they will be believed.
“My appeal to anyone that has been a victim is if you have had something happen to you the police will support you in every way possible,” he added.
In February, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the conviction rate of child abusers had leapt by 20 percent in the previous 12 months. The CPS attributed the rise to an increase in the number of specialist staff trained to deal with rape and serious sexual offences.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, encouraged survivors to seek justice, no matter how historic the case.
“It’s very reassuring that victims nowadays have the confidence to report cases, even if they are historic, going back some years,” he said. “Being the victim of serious offences can be extremely traumatic.
“It is very important that justice is done and that the victims are supported.”
NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless added: “Although these rising figures paint a worrying picture of widespread abuse, it is encouraging that so many know they will be listened to and supported.”
“What’s important now is survivors of abuse receive the support they need and that the people who carried out these vile offences are identified and finally brought to justice.”
How can our Personal Injury lawyers help?
The lifelong scars caused by child sexual abuse may never fully heal but seeking compensation for the pain endured can provide closure and the chance to move forward.
If you have suffered abuse, Gotelee Solicitors’ specialist team of lawyers can provide sensitive care and expert advice should you choose to bring a civil claim.
The Suffolk law firm, which has offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Melton, Hadleigh and Woodbridge, is partnered with Ipswich charity Survivors in Transition (SiT) to help guide victims through the 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 is also a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, which help to bring together a team of experts, including doctors, counsellors, psychiatrists and specialist barristers.
To find out how we can help you, contact us on 01473 298125.