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11 January 2013
Director of Release and Development at the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, the only UK wide charity dedicated to tackling child sexual abuse, Donald Findlater said:
'This report 'Giving Victims a Voice' is a truly shocking and sobering account of one of the most prolific sex offenders we have ever known. And, in hearing their voices, we must make sure that those victims and survivors have access to whatever services they need so that they can begin to repair at least some of the damage they have suffered.
'But a true testament to their suffering must surely be that adults – not just parents and grandparents but all of us – choose to learn the lessons and ensure that every reasonable step is taken to help children stay safe in the future.
'I will not pretend that it is comfortable learning these lessons – recognizing that one in six children in the UK experiences abuse; learning to notice the warning signs that something is wrong – signs in adults as well as in the children they may target; seeking advice and support in weighing up concerns and, where necessary, reporting to the authorities. But these steps are precisely what did not happen in the past and we can, we must, do better for the children of the future.
'Giving Victims a Voice' does not mean waiting until abuse has happened and a child to complain before we do anything. Alongside the need for all adults to take steps to protect children, we need concerted action by the Government. Lucy Faithfull Foundation and other charities are calling for a Government-led national strategy to prevent child sexual abuse – a strategy that is not just the responsibility of one Government Department. Such a comprehensive strategy and action plan would go a long way to identifying and addressing the many gaps that need filling for the prevention of abuse to become a reality.'
1. About the Lucy Faithfull Foundation
Named after its founder, Baroness Lucy Faithfull of Wolvercote, the Foundation is the only UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused. Expert staff work with entire families that have been affected by abuse including: adult male and 2 female sexual abusers; young people with inappropriate sexual behaviours; victims of abuse and other family members. In 2002 the Foundation established the prevention campaign, Stop it Now! UK and Ireland. The Foundation also runs a website specifically for parents and carers; , designed to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and provide positive messages about what parents, carers and other adults can do to protect children.
2. About Stop it Now!
The Stop it Now! Helpline is part of Stop it Now! UK and Ireland. The National campaign aims to prevent child sexual abuse by increasing public awareness and empowering people to act responsibly to protect children. Stop it Now! believes that it is the responsibility of all adults to take positive action to prevent the sexual abuse of children. Stop it Now! is an alliance of leading children's charities including the NSPCC, Action for Children, Children England and The National Association of People Abused in Childhood, working with the government and child protection agencies, to promote public education and prevent child sexual abuse. The Stop it Now! helpline has been operating since 2002 and aims to prevent child abuse by encouraging abusers and potential abusers to seek help and by giving adults the information they need to protect children safely. The helpline is funded by the Ministry of Justice and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.
3. About the Helpline:
Principal target groups:
- Adult abusers and those at risk of abusing: to encourage them to recognise their behaviour as abusive or potentially abusive and to seek help to change
- Family and friends concerned about an adult displaying worrying sexual thoughts or behaviour towards a child: to encourage them to recognise the signs of abusive behaviour in those close to them and to seek advice about what action to take
- Parents and carers concerned about a child or young person with worrying sexual behaviour: to encourage them to recognise the signs of concerning or abusive behaviour and to seek advice about what positive action they can take
Additional groups included due to caller demand:
- Adults concerned about a child or young person who may have been abused
- Professionals calling for case advice
- Adult survivors of child sexual abuse
The Helpline's main objectives are to:
- Assist callers to identify the nature and seriousness of their concerns
- Provide information and support to callers to help them clarify their thinking
- Explore options available, including referral to our own follow-up service or to another agency
- Advise callers about further actions to consider
- Agree one or more protective actions the caller will take