For far too long, victims of childhood sexual abuse have not been heard. As our initial response to the publication of the findings from this wide-ranging review into child sexual abuse, we see this report as the next stage in the fight for justice and fairness for all survivors of childhood sexual abuse, not the answer to addressing this endemic issue. We welcome the reported comments from the Home Secretary, outlining his commitment to keeping the voices of victims and survivors front and centre. But there is now much more to be done to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.
We acknowledge all the recommendations in the report and would like to highlight the importance of several points that directly impact the experience and recovery of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. These include:
- Guaranteed access to specialist therapeutic support for child victims of sexual abuse;
- The mandatory duty to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the authorities;
- Removal of the time limit on legal claims for compensation and further changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme;
- The creation of a straightforward Redress Scheme that will allow victims and survivors to seek monetary redress for child sexual abuse;
- A call to increase public awareness of child sexual abuse;
- Compliance with the Victims Code;
New Pathways offers expert specialist advocacy and advice (ISVA) and therapeutic recovery services (counselling and sexual violence support) for anybody who has experienced sexual violence – no matter when it happened. We will listen, believe and support.