For further research into my subject matter I have watched a recent episode of Crimewatch which was on child abuse. It was mainly about non-recent child sex abuse cases, and how the victims didn’t come out until many years later. This was a huge shock to see how long they lived in silence and how out effected there life’s.
Since the recent football sex abuse charges that have come out in November there have been 1016 allegations towards this same charge. This has effected 248 football clubs and 21 police forces are no actively working on football related sex abuse cases. Every single police force in the UK has atlas 1 live child sex abuse investigation. This is extremely shocking at how all area’s of the UK are being affected by this topic. Not only are there a rise in football related cases but there has been a rise about victims speaking out. Here are some allegation statistics;
Schools – 561
Children Homes – 364
Religious Groups – 145
Sport – 116
Medical – 67
Scouts – 61
After Jimmy Saville died a huge increase of sex abuse allegations came out. Dee was abused by Savill at the age of 14. She emailed into ITN channel reporting this abuse and she got an email back saying that there were 30 other more, then 100 more allegations against him. She was relieved that she spoke out as she “wasn’t the only one” and it encouraged more people to speak out.
Peter was aged 17 when he got abused by a clergyman and he spoke about how the violence and horror “never leaves you”. His abuser told him that he would go to hell if he ever told, he reported this abuse 40 years later. He couldn’t even watch his children getting their nappies changed, I think that this really highlights the effect that sexual abuse can have on you throughout your life.
Debbie was abused from the age of 2 up until she was 9 years old. She was abused by a family member, and was told that if she told anyone she would be taken away and never able to see her family again. This is a horrific statement to hear, especially at the age she was causing her to become to frighted to report the abuse. She was then later abused by a teacher who told her the same thing. Debbie then felt like she “can’t trust anyone”. When she finally reported her abusers the teacher was jailed after 10 years and abused two other girls. After she spoke up she felt like a “weight is lifted”, this shows how more children need to speak out and seek help.
An aspirational footballer Derek was abuse by his football coach at the age 12 – 16 years old. The coach was kind at first and then used to take him into a room and pretend to be a physic therapist. If Derek did not do anything that he wanted, he would threaten to tell the scouts that he is no good at football. When he played football it was a way that he would escape from him coach. He spoke about how the “scar it leaves is massive”.
From each of these 4 people that spoke out about their stories on Crimewatch shows how different their stories are from one and other whether it was the different types of abusers, they were all at different ages and different situations. Although they were all in a abusive power situation where people in authority took advantage. Another reoccurring factor in each of the victims is the fact that they were all too scared to report the abuse at the time.
At the beginning of the documentary the NSPCC helpline: 08088005000 was displayed on screen. In the middle of the documentary it went to the office of the helpline, and they spoke about how they already had calls in with report on sexual abuse. The first stage of the helpline is talking about what is wrong and you are able to be anonymous. I think that this is an important element as lots of people are scared about reporting incidents. Although if they knew that it was an anonymous this may encourage more people to speak up. Other questions they the NSPCC ask are What do you want to do next? Are there other children at risk? Is there something that they can do now?
The hydrant operation is to try and make sure that past offenders aren’t around any other children that could be in risk. Lots of people wonder why the police spend so much time on cases that may have happened over 40 years ago. But this operation is about getting justice for victims that may have only just got the confidence to speak out. One victim who has suffered with alcohol and drug abuse due to his traumatic abuse as a child said “my silence that maintained my abusers safety”. This shows that if he spoke out sooner he could have potentially saved another victim from his abuser.
Whilst this documentary was very shocking and quite horrific to here the things that the victims went through. It provided me with more knowledge on the subject matter and definitely communicated the realism in the topic today and how much it needs to be stopped. I think that this is reinforced by the way that at the beginning of the show they put the help line up and from the documentary people must have felt more confident in reporting child abuse to try and save another child. I think a message that needs to keep getting stronger and strong is giving children the confidence to speak out, this was a powerful message within this episode.