Children’s charity say Scottish victims of child sex abuse are being failed

Children suffering sexual abuse in Scotland are going without help because of a lack of specialist recovery services.

More than 900 sexual crimes against children under the age of 13, including rape and sexual assault, were reported to Police Scotland last year.

But research by NSPCC Scotland shows that, despite a greater spotlight on child sexual abuse in the past 10 years and several high-profile abuse cases reaching the courts, access to recovery services remains patchy.

The NSPCC have also found that more than half of the 17 local authority areas included in the latest research have no specialist service for children of primary school age who need help, while 15 of the 17 have no service for children aged under five years.

The new report, which focuses on west central Scotland, where more than half of the nation’s child
population live, will be launched at the Scottish Parliament today at an event chaired by Labour MSP Johann Lamont.

The charity are calling for the adoption of a multi-disciplinary model, where support for children’s psychological and emotional recovery following sexual abuse is available along
with forensic services and facilities to help them give the best evidence to secure justice.

Matt Forde, national head of NSPCC Scotland, said this new report shows children are being failed.

“We’ve seen recently how difficult it is for adults to come forward and report experiences of sexual abuse,” he said. “Think how much harder it is then for children, especially if their abuser is in their own family.

“Only one in eight cases of child sexual abuse is thought to come to the attention of agencies, so these young people we know of are just the tip of the iceberg. Abused children suffer terribly and we must make sure they get the support they need.”

Sandie Barton, Rape Crisis Scotland director of operations, said: “More and more young people are coming forward at our centres and demand is at an
unprecedented level.

“We know from survivors that failing to provide timely access to appropriate support can have far-reaching consequences. Children, young people and their families deserve better.” 



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