New report into the impact of child abuse on survivors

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) has published a report into the impact of abuse on survivors. The report follows on from the results disclosed in the Crime Survey for England and Wales which estimated that 20% of adults experience some form of abuse, before they reached the age of 16.

It also follows the Home Office’s first ‘Tackling Child Abuse Strategy’, which estimated that the  cost to those have been abused, is £10billion , when  the cost of the direct physical and mental health impacts, loss of education and employment opportunities, and breakdowns in relationships, is taken into account.

Gabrielle Shaw, NAPAC’s Chief Executive, said:

We are excited by this launch of NAPAC’s first-ever impact report. This is the start of an annual publication of impact reports, marking a new sophistication in NAPAC’s reporting and outreach. NAPAC could not have achieved this kind of impressive impact without the support of funders such as government, individuals, trusts and corporate partners. I’m proud of what that has meant in terms of NAPAC supporting survivors, training professionals and leading advocacy and awareness-raising efforts.

NAPAC supports survivors through the telephone, email and online support services; it provides the only free national telephone support service that offers specialist, confidential support to survivors of child abuse.

Record numbers of survivors have had recourse to NAPAC’s services in the past year (just under 130,000). NAPAC has outlined  the following statistics as part of its report:

  • 14% of the population are survivors of childhood abuse
  • 127,477 people directly reached through NAPAC survivor support services
  • 72% of people NAPAC support are experiencing anxiety
  • 42% of those NAPAC help have depression
  • 236 hours of support were given to each survivor in support groups

It also follows the Home Office’s first ‘Tackling Child Abuse Strategy’, which estimated the financial and non-financial costs of child sexual abuse alone to be at least £10 billion (published in Jan 2021).

The work of NAPAC was also highlighted in a recent article in The Sun newspaper when its Fundraising Manager, Kim Bond spoke about her own experience of being sexually abused as a child, and the work NAPAC does.   The article notes that since lockdown began and forced people indoors, rising numbers of people are revealing long-ago incidences of sexual assaults that happened when they were younger.

Ms Bond went on to say in the article that:

People are having more time to reflect because they’re not able to go out to work or to socialise as much. They might normally manage their stress or anxiety by going out for a run or meeting friends but now they don’t have those outlets.” The work of NAPAC is to be applauded, in providing vital support services to survivors of child sexual abuse.  It also highlights that the issue of child sexual abuse continues to be a major issue that government and society needs to deal with.


James Chambers at BLM james.chambers@blmlaw.com

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