Sexual abuse report finds lack of support for victims

A report on children’s experiences of seeking help and support after sexual abuse in the family environment has found barriers to accessing help has led to some abuse victims going years without support. Making Noise: Children’s voices for positive change after sexual abuse by the University of Bedfordshire, the NSPCC and the Children’s Commissioner for England involved interviews with sexual abuse victims. It found that professionals and other adults continue to miss signs of sexual abuse; that there are mixed feelings among victims around the professional responses to their experiences of sexual abuse; and that positive and negative aspects of social work practice were identified, but there were frustrations with the systems and processes involved. The report identifies the key qualities that victims of sexual abuse wanted to see in the professionals they come across, including active listening, demonstration of belief, and care and compassion.

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