The Government have today announced their biggest every enquiry into child sex abuse following the high profile cases involving Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris and the looming scandal which will potentially involve MPs.
I have been helping the victims of abuse since the 1990s and one common feature is the cathartic effect of publicity.
My department has seen a significant increase in the number of clients contacting us in relation to sex abuse claims since the Saville story broke. These are not necessarily victims of Saville but other Claimants who have found it far easier to come forward and report what has happened to them as a result of seeing the publicity surrounding the recent scandals.
Knowing that other people have suffered in a similar way to them at the hands of a prominent member of society will empower a victim to come forward and report the abuse decades after it took place.
Regardless of what the biggest ever enquiry into child sex abuse reveals, I am certain that it will result in many more people coming forward to take about incidents that occurred many decades ago and that they have never previously felt strong enough to discuss.
What people don’t necessarily realise is that it isn’t just claims against the abuser themselves that can be made; if another body, such as a local authority or school, could have stopped or prevented the abuse, it may be possible to pursue a claim against them.