Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Friday, Jun 21, 2024

Sex abuse victims 'must get specialist support'

Sex abuse victims 'must get specialist support'

Encouraging abuse victims to come forward without a specialist support system in place is "totally irresponsible", campaigners have said.

In an open letter, 150 signatories including Rape Crisis and Refuge, are calling for fully-funded support to be included in the upcoming Victims Bill.

It was written by a woman whose friend helped convict their abusive running coach but then took her own life.

The government says it is improving support for victims at every stage.

The letter's author Charlie Webster and her friend Katie belonged to the same running group in Sheffield as teenagers. But the best friends never shared with each other that that their coach Paul North had sexually abused them over many years.

In 2002, North was jailed for 10 years after Katie and another victim reported him to police. Then aged 18, she had found the strength to give evidence against him in court.

But once North was convicted, Katie's mother Sue said her daughter was abandoned by a criminal justice system that seemed more interested in the offender than the victim.

"In a way, she was sacrificed," she told the BBC. "She got let down by the police, by the running club, and she got left hung out to dry."

Katie was offered very little therapeutic support during the court process and nothing over the next 20 years.

"I can't see how she could have been expected to have got over that and just got on with life," Sue added.

While North served just half of his sentence, his victims were left to deal with their ongoing trauma. For Katie, this culminated with her taking her own life at her home in Australia in January this year aged 39. Her mum said she had never got over what had happened.

In her open letter, Charlie (pictured left) wrote that Katie (right) deserved better than how she was treated


The Victims and Prisoners Bill, which is aiming to offer improved, legally-defined support to crime victims in England and Wales, is to be debated by MPs in the Commons on Monday.

But campaigners are concerned that a key element is missing - guaranteed funding written into law to provide the specialist support services needed to help these victims recover from their trauma.

Ms Webster and charity Rape Crisis have sent the letter to the Justice Secretary Alex Chalk. Its signatories include other charities like Women's Aid, plus athletes Sebastian Coe and Paula Radcliffe.

In the open letter, Ms Webster shares Katie's story, explaining that her friend had done what society had asked of her.

"She spoke out, she stood tall despite victim blaming and because of her courage, others were saved," she writes. "Katie did her duty to society. But what about Katie? What did the system do to help her? She deserved better."

Ms Webster urges the justice secretary to ensure sufficient multi-year funding is allocated to ensure victims are given access to counselling and emotional support to help them rebuild their lives.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Arab Press
0:00
0:00
Close
United States Bans Kaspersky Antivirus
White House Cancels US-Israel Meeting Amid Netanyahu's Accusations
Muslim Community Leader Criticizes Nigel Farage for Undermining Muslims
Hezbollah Chief Threatens All of Israel Amidst Escalating Conflict
Canada Lists Iran's Revolutionary Guards as Terrorist Group
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
Japan Considers Sanctions on UAE-Based Entities for Aiding Russia
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Iran Approves Six Candidates for Presidential Election After Raisi's Death
Israeli Commander Resigns After Hamas' October 7 Attack
Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz Resigns Over Gaza Strategy
UN to Add Israel to Human Rights Blacklist
Labour Party to Pledge Recognition of Palestinian State in Election Manifesto
Hamas Rejects Biden's Gaza Ceasefire Proposal as 'Just Words'
Hamas Has Not Responded To Latest Ceasefire Proposal: Qatar
State of Palestine Seeks to Join UN Court Case Accusing Israel of Genocide
Hezbollah Launches Drone Squadron Towards Israeli Military Targets
US-Built Pier in Gaza Faces Setbacks and Repairs
Norway, Ireland, and Spain Recognize Palestinian State
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
Death of Iran's President Raisi Stirs Succession Race for Supreme Leader
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
FedEx Airlines Boeing 767 cargo plane lands on nose at Istanbul Airport
Netanyahu's Firm Stance Amid Rafah Hostage Talks
Blinken on Gaza: Ceasefire is Key to Humanitarian Crisis Resolution
UAE Prime Minister Announces $544M for Home Repairs after Historic Rains, Vows to Learn from Experience
Isfahan Explosions: US Media Reports Israel's Retaliatory Strikes on Iran
Four Dead, Dubai Airport Disrupted: UAE's Heaviest Rains in 75 Years Cause Flooding and Flight Chaos
Dubai Airports: Stranded Tourists 'Living on Duty Free,' Desperate for Food and Water
Heavy Rains Cause Flooding in UAE and Oman: 18 Lives Lost
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Unprecedented Flooding Disrupts Dubai
Ajman Crown Prince Declares Remote Work Day for Government Employees Due to Weather (Except Essential Jobs)
IDF released footage showing Israeli fighter jets downing some of the 300 drones and missiles fired from Iran at Israel.
The West stands with Israel, Iran is furious: "Double standards and irresponsibility"
Huge Queues at Iranian Gas Stations
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Scandal in Iran after a goalkeeper had the audacity to hug a female fan who stormed the pitch
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
Saudi Arabia calls for "restraint" amid Iranian strikes on Israel
Iran launched dozens of drones at Israel on Saturday but they will take hours to reach their targets, Israel's military said
Online YouTube streamer N3ON was just sentenced to AN ENTIRE YEAR in prison in Dubai for filming and live-streaming, without “proper permits”
UN Chief Warns: Gaza Outflow to Egypt Would Derail Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Record Number of Arab Soldiers Serve in IDF Amidst Ongoing Gaza Conflict: A Personal Story of Loyalty and Advocacy
Major Charities Warn of Genocide in Gaza: 'Impossible' to Deliver Aid, Israel Accused of Complicity
Biden Warns Netanyahu: US Aid to Israel Depends on Gaza Civilian Protection
Israel Reopens Gaza Border for Temporary Humanitarian Aid Amid International Pressure
United Arab Emirates suspends diplomatic relations with Israel
DOZENS OF ARMED FIGHTERS ATTACK 3 IRANIAN MILITARY FACILITIES
×