Friday, 14 December 2012

Child Sexual Abuse - Surges in Demand for Protection Services

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) says there had been a 30% rise in reports of abuse as a result of the "Savile effect".

Back in November the Guardian reported that the NSPCC had experienced a 200% increase in calls about sexual abuse.

More generally, the BBC article also reports that the Metropolitan Police has experienced a four-fold increase in complaints of sexual assault, in the wake of the Savile allegations.

It quotes the director of the NSPCC helpline as saying that by speaking out Savile's victims have raised awareness of child sex abuse so emboldening others to do the same.

We do not know how reports of abuse map to actual incidence and prevalence. Clearly there is a big ‘iceberg effect’ with much abuse going unreported.

But more reports of abuse mean more work for agencies and professionals, stretching already under-funded services. The Savile affair demonstrates the need for child protection services which are flexible and which are capable of rapid expansion to take account of surges in demand.