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Sexual Abuse 'National Health Epidemic', Says Government Adviser

Experts Have Called For Increased Support For Sexual Abuse Survivors


A government adviser has claimed there could be as many as 11 million survivors of sexual abuse in the UK, with expert describing the issue as a “national health epidemic”.

Recent high-profile cases have resulted in a number of people coming forward to make allegations of sexual abuse as they now feel their claims will be taken seriously by the police and investigated thoroughly.

Graham Wilmer, founder of the Lantern Project, said his estimation was based on “prevalence rates published by the government”, and called for improved help and support for survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse.

According to Sky News, figures indicate that one in four girls under the age of 16 have been sexually abused, while for boys the statistics stand at one in six.

Psychotherapist Brian Mynott, a survivor of sexual abuse, who runs the Real Dawn support group in West Yorkshire, told the news provider that services for abuse survivors are currently “a million miles from being enough”.

He added: "It is very sad that when people phone me up I can't refer them on somewhere and it is very sad when people can't get my services because I am booked up. These are people that need help now."

Expert Opinion
The fact that so many survivors of abuse are coming forward as they feel confident their allegations will be taken seriously by the police and investigated thoroughly is a very positive step.

“However, it is vital that when these people take the brave step to come forward they are given access to the help and support they need. Sexual abuse can have a psychological impact on survivors and it is crucial services are in place to provide the assistance they require.

“We welcome the recent commitment from the NHS and the Government to invest in services geared towards helping abuse survivors and hope that this can be implemented as soon as possible.”
Tracey Storey, Partner

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