The rising tide of survivors: NAPAC’s latest report shows large increase in childhood abuse survivors seeking support

The following blog is authored by the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). Click here to find out more.

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) has published its 2020/21 impact report, providing vital insight into the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK survivors. Statistics show huge increases in the provision of support for survivors, the number of survivors using NAPAC’s resources and the volume of young people interacting with its website.

The report is compiled using anonymised data from tens of thousands of survivors who have interacted with NAPAC’s services between March 2020 and April 2021.

COVID-19 had a significant impact upon the types of issues that survivors were raising on the NAPAC support line, with many feeling triggered due to mask wearing, and sharp increases in the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse. For the majority of survivors, access to therapy was changed, creating issues around privacy, and leaving them anxious that their data would be accessed by third parties.

However, 97% of callers to the support line said that they felt better after their call with NAPAC, describing the charity as “a lifeline”, “a miracle” and citing feeling “brave” and “empowered” after contacting NAPAC. 

Key statistics from the report:

  • On average, NAPAC provided an additional 50 hours of direct support per month to survivors – a 20% increase on 2019
  • There was a 42% increase in the average number of monthly website users compared to 2019 – up from approximately 9,900 to 14,100
  • Average hours per month spent interacting with website resources increased by 118% on 2019
  • One in three callers to the support line was under the age of 35, up from less than one in five in 2019
  • There was an 8% jump in website users aged 18-24, which now make up 18% of monthly website users, approximately 2,500 users
  • In 2021 NAPAC trained 811 professionals, an increase of 89% from 429 in 2020
  • 97% of callers said that they felt better at the end of their call with NAPAC
  • 92p of every £1 donated to NAPAC was spent on supporting survivors directly and through advocacy

The report demonstrates a large increase in survivors interacting with NAPAC’s support line and website, as well as a considerable shift of more young people seeking support, which CEO, Gabrielle Shaw had previously attributed in part to the Everyone’s Invited movement.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Gabrielle Shaw, Chief Executive of NAPAC said: “These statistics are a powerful indicator of a changing culture in which survivors are beginning to feel safer in sharing their experiences. I’m encouraged to see that more survivors are reaching out to NAPAC for support and advice and that our growing bank of online resources is proving so helpful.”

Despite operating at 64% of normal capacity across the year due to COVID-19 requirements, the charity achieved 86% of its original target of supporting 10,000 survivors, providing support 6,059 times by phone and 2,558 times by email.

ONS statistics estimate that there are currently 8.5 million adult survivors of child abuse living in England and Wales, including 3.1 million who were sexually abused.

The full 2020/21 Impact Report is available here.

For more information, please contact Nick Ward, Communications Officer at NAPAC: – 07928111132

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