Posted: Mon 10th Aug 2020

More than 10 children a day are victims of sex offences in Wales new figures from NSPCC Cymru reveal

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Aug 10th, 2020


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Child sexual offences in Wales rise more than 100 per cent in five years as NSPCC Cymru calls for continued action to tackle crisis of abuse.

More than ten child sex offences, on average, were recorded by police forces in Wales every day last year, new figures from NSPCC Cymru reveal.

There were 3,715 recorded offences including rape, online grooming and sexual assault against children in Wales in 2019/20 – up 107% in the five years since 2014/15. 

There were 558 offences committed against 14-year-olds, making it the most common age group to report offences, with 868 sex crimes recorded against children aged ten and under.

Where gender and age were recorded, girls were almost four times more likely to be victims.

A total of 44 out of 45 police forces across the UK provided the NSPCC with the latest data on sexual offences against under 18s after a Freedom of Information request. 

NSPCC Cymru say the figures across Wales highlight the need for a Child Sexual Abuse Strategy beyond 2021.

The Welsh Government published its National Action Plan on Preventing and Responding to Child Sexual Abuse in 2019, which was the first of its kind in the UK.

Policy and Public Affairs Manager for NSPCC Cymru Cecile Gwilym says: “The crisis of child sexual abuse is not going away, and these stark figures highlight the thousands of children and young people in Wales behind these reported crimes.

“Sexual abuse can have a devastating and untold effect on the lives of those impacted, and whilst we have been encouraged that the Welsh Government listened to our calls for a holistic strategy to prevent child sexual abuse in all its forms, further steps must now be taken to ensure this strategy is extended beyond 2021.

“This should focus on effective prevention, protecting children at risk of child sexual abuse, and providing timely child-centred support to those who have been abused to help them recover from such trauma.

“A holistic response to child sexual abuse should include access to specialist services, an increased focus on perpetrators and interventions to support young people displaying harmful sexual behaviour.”

The NSPCC’s Childline service, which has 12 bases including two in Wales, has been hearing from children and young people that have been sexually abused and having to spend more time with their abuser during lockdown.

One 17-year-old girl said: “It started during lockdown, about seven weeks ago. Dad touched me and got me to touch him. Today he came into my room and removed his trousers and asked me to do something to him and I did it. I don’t want to live here anymore. I feel I should tell social services about how abusive dad is, but I don’t feel ready to tell them about the sexual abuse part.”

A 15-year-old girl told Childline: “My dad touched me sexually when I was younger and now I have to be home all the time with him and I can’t deal with it. Just being in the house with him is so hard. I am constantly reminded of what he did.”

NSPCC Cymru is calling on the Welsh Government to commit to extending its Child Sexual Abuse strategy to ensure the needs of children and young people who have experienced abuse are met and they are able to access timely, specialist support to help them recover.

This should include through Child House initiatives where health, policing, social work, therapeutic and other services provide support to children under one roof.

Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000. Adult victims of non-recent sexual abuse can also get in touch for support.

Childline is available for young people on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk

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