News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Christian charity pioneers earlier support for young victims of sexual abuse and exploitation

by Donna Birrell

Young victims of sexual abuse and exploitation are being offered new support through a pilot programme launched by a Christian charity.

The Children's Society's Support Rethought programme, funded by the Home Office's Child Sexual Abuse Support Services Transformation Fund, is offering one-to-one support to 8-18-year-olds in three areas - Devon, Nottinghamshire, and Newcastle. 

Help is being offered to children and young people referred to the service within six weeks of them reporting being the victim of sexual abuse.

The charity's National Programme Manager for the scheme told Premier more about it:

"Sexual abuse and exploitation is a horrendous ordeal, extremely traumatic and impacts many areas of young people's lives. We see that it impacts their relationships at home, their friendships, education, well-being and their mental health as well. And the road to recovery can be an extremely long one. And the impacts are not the same for everybody. 

"Children might have thoughts and feelings they can't control, maybe nightmares struggling to sleep, they might feel scared, angry, unsafe. Often they're left with those feelings for quite a long time before they can access support. So what we're hoping to do is provide very early support in those crucial first six weeks, alongside their parent or carer - as long as they're not the person that's abused them - to help find some simple coping mechanisms and strategies that they can work on together. And to start on that road to recovery."

The service is running as a year-long pilot and referrals will be accepted from agencies including sexual assault referral centres, children's social care, the police, education and other third sector organisations. 

The Children's Society says assessments of children referred to social care in England identified more than 30,460 instances of child sexual abuse and more than 18,700 cases of child sexual exploitation in 2019/20. 

However, it says this is just the tip of the iceberg because most cases of sexual abuse and exploitation are never reported to authorities. The CSA (Child Sexual Abuse) Centre estimates that at least 15% of girls and 5% of boys experience child sexual abuse before the age of 16.

Professionals and parents can enquire about making a referral to the service by emailing [email protected]

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email