VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE TOLD ACCUSATIONS COULD “RUIN PERPETRATOR’S LIFE”, INQUIRY FINDS
October 22, 2019
Victims of child sex abuse are often told by the authority figures they confide in that their allegations could “ruin the perpetrators life”, an analysis of over 3,200 cases found.
More than 4,000 survivors of child sexual abuse have shared their experiences of abuse with the Truth Project in England and Wales. Of these, 3,265 personal accounts have been analysed by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
According to a report published on Tuesday, IICSA found most victims were sexually abused by age 11 (79 percent).
Almost half of victims (46 percent) were under eight when the abuse began. The Inquiry also heard that nearly half of all child sexual abuse (45 percent) is perpetrated by someone in the victim’s family.
Today’s report shows even when some victims came forward to report abuse to those in authority, they were encouraged to stay silent, ignored or threatened.
Victims were often warned by those in authority, including the police and social services, that their accusations could ‘ruin’ the lives of perpetrators. Others were dismissed as “attention seekers”, or behaved badly at school, but the signs were not picked up by their teachers.
Some 86 percent of survivors told the Inquiry the abuse had a long term impact on their mental health, with over a third reporting depression (37 percent).
Chris Tuck, who is a member of the Inquiry’s Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel said: “If we are to protect future generations of children, we need to listen to those who have experienced abuse and learn from them about what went wrong, why it went wrong and what we can put in place to stop it going wrong in the future.”
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