Dozens of people in Glasgow have come forward as potential victims of child sexual abuse following a campaign event in the city.
Child sexual abuse campaigners have reached out to dozens of potential victims in Glasgow.
Members of the Seek and Find Everyone (SAFE) group were in George Square last week following the start of the public hearing at the Scottish Government inquiry into historical sex abuse across Scotland.
SAFE held an event and spoke to members of the public, and were overwhelmed with the number of people who told them they had been abused.
Members gave out hundreds of leaflets and spoke to around 70 people, including pensioners and homeless people, who identified themselves as victims of abuse.
Sandra Toyer, a facilitator who works with the Voices Within support group, which is part of SAFE, said the event had been a “great success”.
“So many survivors came forward, who had been passing by. They approached some of the group and disclosed abuse. It was quite traumatic but poignant, they had the courage to come forward in the middle of George Square and speak to us. It shows us there are thousands of survivors out there. I have no doubt about that…People who have kept their secret for 30, 40 and 50 years sometimes.
We had older people coming to talk to us who were in their 70s, homeless people, lots of different people. We just want to keep the momentum going and find as many people as we can and support them.”
Dave Sharp, a founder of SAFE, added:
“Our aim is to find and help survivors. The police, the Government, they are all doing their bit as well. People should speak out as there has never been such an opportunity as now. There are organisations and things in place now that have never been before.”
Another of SAFE’s main goals is to visit every prison in Scotland, to identify any potential victims who are incarcerated.
Dave explained: “A very high proportion of historical child abuse survivors go on to form some kind of addiction which quite often leads to a criminal background and prison sentences. For so long the authorities in Scotland have not addressed this issue. We also know a large number of the homeless population has an abusive background. If we, as a country, don’t do something about this now it will be an ongoing problem that will continue.”