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Suffolk charity Survivors in Transition sees increase in men seeking help for childhood sexual abuse

Published February 20, 2015 by misty534

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A charity that helps adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse is helping more men than women for the first time in its five year existence.

Those behind Survivors in Transition (SiT), based in Fore Street in Ipswich, believe the increase could be due to the high media profile of police investigations into sex abuse allegations such as Operation Yewtree.

Fiona Ellis, operations director at the charity that offers support and counselling to men and women across Suffolk, said the number of men being seen had more than doubled between 2013 and 2014 – with men accounting for 34 of the 52 people currently being seen by SiT.

Ms Ellis, added: “For the first time we are working with more men than women. In the last couple of weeks we have seen an increase in particularly men, but individuals making enquiries being affected by institutional abuse, which is never the norm for us. Usually 80% to 90% of the people we work with have been affected by abuse within the home.”

Ms Ellis said the spike in men coming forward has contributed to a 240% increase in the overall demand for their services and seen people from as far as Cambridge seek support.

She added: “Anxiety is one of the reasons people don’t come forward. There’s an overwhelming sense of shame, so breaking that silence takes a huge amount of courage.

“Our service has grown so quickly since those cases in the media, and we want to try and reduce the anxiety of using the service.”

However, while SiT has seen an increase in men using the service, it is not a situation that has been seen nationally.

Michael May, director of business development at national charity Survivors UK, said: “I don’t know if there’s a particularly gendered response because the press coverage has been about institutions. Society tells men they have to be strong and protect themselves, so they may have been too scared to come forward for help.”

To combat the problem SiT aims to respond to people within 48 hours and assess them within two weeks, before creating tailored programmes when not everyone is ready for counselling or group sessions.

For more information call 07765 052282 or visit  survivorsintransition.co.uk.

By Jason Noble

North Wales Child Sex Abuse Case: Man Charged

Published July 31, 2013 by misty534

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John Allen, 71, has been charged with 32 serious sexual offences against 15 children aged seven to 15 between 1968 and 1989.

 

A 71-year-old man has become the first to be charged in connection with the North Wales sex child abuse scandal.

John Allen, of Ipswich, in Suffolk, has been charged with 32 serious sexual offences alleged to have taken place between 1968 and 1989 against 15 children, who were aged between seven and 15 at the time.

Allen has been charged with 22 indecent assaults, one offence of gross indecency and nine offences of buggery.

The North Wales child abuse scandal involved the physical and sexual abuse of young, vulnerable boys in care homes on a vast scale.

A fresh police investigation was launched in November last year and is looking at 140 allegations of sexual abuse at 18 children’s homes in the counties of Clwyd and Gwynedd between 1963 and 1992.

The charges against Allen are the first since the investigation began.

North Wales Police have described the inquiry as its “largest investigation into child abuse” and said it resulted in 3,755 witness statements being taken with at least 24 victims identified.

Karen Mullin, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Cymru-Wales, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service is working alongside Operation Pallial as this major investigation into historical sexual abuse in North Wales moves forward.

“I can confirm that, having carefully considered the evidence gathered so far, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge John Allen with a total of 32 serious sexual offences, and that it is in the public interest to do so.

“We have therefore authorised Operation Pallial to charge Mr Allen with these offences.”

A report into the scale of the abuse in the North Wales care system by retired High Court Judge Sir Ronald Waterhouse was published in 2000.

He said there had been “widespread abuse of boys” and the report named 200 people for abusing or failing to offer protection to the youngsters.

However, there have been criticisms that the scale of the review was too narrow and David Cameron has appointed Mrs Justice Macur to review the terms of the Waterhouse inquiry.

In April a report into the case, which was compiled in 1996 but not then released in public because of fears it might spark compensation claims, was finally published.

It said that council employees and even serving police officers from the time could have been named as potential perpetrators of assaults.

The said: “It is clear that, in a significant number of cases, the lives of young people who have been through the care system in Clwyd have been severely disrupted and disturbed. At least 12 young people are dead.

“Of the many statements taken, it is unclear how many were forwarded to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration. It is also unclear how many other professionals, including police officers, were named in these statements as perpetrators of assaults.”

Allen has been remanded in custody in North Wales and is due to appear before magistrates in Mold on Thursday.

A total of four people, including Allen, have been arrested to date. Three others remain on police bail while investigations continue.

 

sky news

Suffolk: Fears over internet and social media after 30% of child sex offences committed by children or youths

Published June 11, 2013 by misty534

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Three out of ten child sex crimes in Suffolk are committed by children or youths, according to police figures.

The 30% ratio has led to the NSPCC voicing fears that the internet and social media are warping young minds by blurring the lines between right and wrong.

Suffolk Constabulary figures show 242 child sex offences in the past two years were allegedly carried out by offenders under the age of 18.

Separate police figures show that in 2011/12 and 2012/13 there were 808 children in the county who reported they had been abused.

Across England and Wales youths and children are said to have carried out at least 5,000 child sex offences in the last three years, of which 351 were committed in Suffolk.

The national figures were released after Freedom of Information requests to police forces by the NSPCC. But the charity warns the true figure will be even higher as not all forces were able to provide relevant data.

The NSPCC is warning easy access to sexual material could be behind an increase in the number of children needing help.

Its policy advisor Claire Lilley said: “Any incidents like these are a real cause for concern and these figures should be ringing alarm bells with the authorities that this is a problem that needs to be tackled urgently.

“In some cases older children are attacking younger children, in other cases it’s sexual violence within a teenage relationship.

“Whilst more research needs to be done on this problem, we know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people’s view of what is ‘normal’ or acceptable behaviour.

“We are treating an increasing number of children who have carried out online grooming, harassment in chatrooms and ‘sexting’.

“Children who are sexually abusive have often been victims of abuse, harm and trauma themselves. Exposure to this can make them think sexually abusing someone or being sexually violent is ok.

“But evidence shows that most young people who receive behaviour changing treatment early on, such as that offered by the NSPCC, will not continue to sexually abuse others or grow into adult offenders.

“If we are to tackle this growing problem and protect young victims, more needs to be done to identify and treat children at risk of sexually offending. And we must do more to shield young people from an increasingly sexualised society.”

Only 34 police forces in England and Wales issued their figures to the NSPCC.

A total of 5,028 sex offences were recorded where the perpetrator was under 18, with some as young as five or six.

The alleged crimes included rape and other serious sexual assaults, which were reported between 2009/10 and 2011/12.

Nearly all – 98% – of the 4,562 offenders were boys, and where the relationship was recorded at least three out of five of the victims knew the abuser.

More than one-third of the offences were said to have been committed by a family friend or acquaintance and one in five by family members.

These findings follow a report by probation inspectors which found that police, social workers and teachers were missing the warning signs that a child may sexually offend. The NSPCC’s Ipswich centre provides services to treat and reform children and young people from across Suffolk who exhibit signs of harmful sexual behaviour.

Anyone worried about a child should telephone the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111.

 

By Colin Adwent Crime correspondent