The new service has been created as a direct response to the record 40% increase in the number of cases reported to the firm’s Abuse team and aims to help those abuse victims who will often be talking about their experiences for the first time.
The system works by connecting abuse victims immediately to specialist lawyers who will be able to offer them instant legal advice and support. The chat facility will allow callers to overcome the initial difficulty of voicing their case, making it easier for anyone who may be afraid or intimidated by approaching law firms.
Head of Abuse Claims, Jonathan Bridge, who has 20 years of expertise in dealing with abuse cases, said: “In the past year we have seen a record increase of more than 40% in the numbers of people coming to us to report cases of abuse, both ongoing and historic. We are representing a number of the girls involved in the Rochdale sex trafficking ring and that case, along with a wider public awareness of the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, has led to many more victims of abuse becoming aware that they can come forward and seek justice.
“However, that is only half the battle and we know that reporting this kind of abuse can be an extremely daunting prospect. Many of our clients are too scared to go to the police and our team are often the first people that they have spoken to about their experiences. We have worked closely with many victims themselves to ensure that our Abuse services, including this new reporting facility, encourage people to come forward to get the advice they need in an environment where they feel safe to seek the closure and justice they deserve.”
The addition of the service is part of the Abuse departments’ attempt to reach out to victims of physical or sexual abuse and the dedicated service runs on Thursday evenings, 5pm – 7pm.