Rotherham Victims of Child Sexual Exploitation Are Still Being Let Down
Rotherham victims of child sexual exploitation are still being let down
Sarah Champion MP, Member of Parliament for Rotherham, has today demanded that the Government commit funding to support survivors of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the town.
During Justice Questions, Sarah highlighted a recent report by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council that found that despite the Council’s best efforts, support services are failing to keep up with demand.
The report stated that the needs analysis conducted in 2015 which informed RMBC’s commissioning of services, had underestimated the numbers, length and intensity of support that would be required. As a result, significant waiting lists have built up and victims are not getting the right support at the right time.
Sarah reiterated a call she has been making since the Jay Report in August 2014 for the Government to meet its obligations to victims and survivors and ensure that appropriate funding and services are in place.
In Parliament, Sarah said, “Today, Rotherham Council are debating the support available to adults who survived child abuse in our constituency. I’ve now spoken to two Home Secretaries, two Prime Ministers, countless ministers and the MoJ (Ministry of Justice) was in Rotherham last week. Still, we are not getting the cash we need to enable at current count 1,520 victims to enable them to turn from victims to survivors. Will the Minister please give us the cash we need.”
In response, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice, Dr. Phillip Lee said, “The Government is clearly engaged with this process of trying to assess what is needed to help with these victims of child sex abuse, both when they are children and indeed as adults. But I am under no illusion that it is not just the justice department, it is also the health department, the local government department, all government departments are going to have to wrestle with this issue over the coming years because there has been significant child sex abuse over recent decades.”
Commenting on the urgent need to for more resources for victims and survivors, Sarah said:
“The council’s report confirms what I have been hearing from countless Rotherham survivors, that the services in place are simply unable to cope with the huge demand for support. The support currently provided is of high quality, but victims are having to wait too long to access the help they need to rebuild their lives.’
‘RMBC should be commended for recognising the problem and for exploring new ways of meeting existing and future demand. But they cannot do so alone. With budgets already under severe pressure across the council, I am concerned that CSE survivors are once again being ignored and let down.’
‘For nearly four years I have pleaded with the Government to meet its statutory responsibilities to victims and survivors. I am disgusted that it still has not happened. Survivors are now resorting to holding fundraisers to raise cash to support other victims. The State has let these women and girls down for decades. Warm words from Ministers mean nothing without the funding to pay for adequate support. Its high time the Government delivered on its promises and ensured that we do not again fail those who have been so badly failed in the past.”
Notes to Editors:
Sarah’s question and the Minister’s response are available to view at: