19th Oct, 2017

Number of rape and sexual abuse victims has doubled says Warwick charity

Leamington Editorial 26th Nov, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE NUMBER of victims coming forward to report rape and sexual abuse has doubled in the past six months.

Warwick-based charity Safeline, which offers supports to victims, has seen a huge rise in those seeking counselling and support.

The charity usually helps around 400 people a year, but has seen that figure rocket in the last six months.

Chief executive of the charity, Neil Henderson, believes media coverage of high profile abuse cases such as those of Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and Gary Glitter, is behind the dramatic increase.

He said: “The number of people reporting sexual abuse or rape is down to people seeing stories through the media and finding the courage to come forward and get the help they’ve needed for years.

“Although the charity has been in existence for 20 years, with the number of high profile cases being publicised, many men and women are now contacting the charity to reveal their secrets of childhood abuse.

“Our motto is ‘Believe in you’ – listening to men, women and child abuse victims to start the healing process which may have taken up to 60 years for people to feel they will be believed.

“People are finding the courage to come forward and get the help they need.

“We welcome it. We want to see the numbers we support increase dramatically.”

Since it was founded the charity has helped more than 25,000 victims from their headquarters in New Street.

But with one in four women suffering abuse, and one in six men, the charity say there are many more out there who need its help.

Safeline now offer a national helpline, online support, face-to-face counselling and support groups.

To help those in need, Warwick Rotary have given a donation to support the charity’s work.

Mr Henderson added: “Abuse wrecks lives and victims may turn to drink, drugs or self abuse to numb their feelings.

“It affects schooling, moving into employment and establishing relationships. The cost to society is huge.”

Visit www.safeline.org.uk or call 0808 8005005 to report sexual abuse or for further information.

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