Today The Metro reports that victims of sexual abuse are showing a “greater willingness” to come forward which has seen the number of such crimes recorded by police rising to its highest.
Forces recorded 106,098 sexual offences in the year ending March 2016 – a 20% rise on the previous year and the largest total since new recording standards were introduced in 2002. “As well as improvements in recording practices this is thought to reflect a greater willingness of victims to come forward to report such crimes, including non-recent victims” the Office for National Statistics stated.
“Although it is welcome that more people are coming forward we must not be complacent” said Keith Best, CEO of SurvivorsUK the specialist charity providing emotional support and counselling to adult male survivors of rape and sexual abuse. “75% of our clients have been abused as children yet it takes an average of 26 years for them to report it. That is appalling and because we know that men are especially reluctant to come forward this represents not only personal individual tragedies but also a massive cost to society: some 90% of men never speak of their abuse.
Without the appropriate help they can turn to drug and alcohol addiction and self-harm, see a breakdown in their relationships at home and at work and need constant mental health care. Although, due to recent revelations, the public are now more aware of the abuse that takes place, neither they, the politicians nor the press appreciate the full magnitude of the problem. Much more needs to be done to encourage survivors to come forward and to provide them with the longer term therapy that so many of them need” said Mr Best.