Wealden MP Nus Ghani has taken action to try and improve support given to survivors of child sexual abuse, in the wake of recent high-profile investigations.
Ms Ghani hosted a lunchtime meeting for MPs and their staff, led by The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC).
MPs were given advice on the issues they should consider when responding to survivor constituents who approach them, and the type of support they should offer.
Speaking after the event, Ms Ghani said: “In recent years, there have been a large number of very high-profile investigations into accusations of child sexual abuse.
“As a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee which took evidence on the Lord Brittan case, and having researched the work done by NAPAC, the NSPCC and its ChildLine helpline, it’s clear that to support survivors, we must work with these experts closely and pro-actively seek their advice.
“As the Goddard Inquiry extends its investigations around the country, more and more survivors may be encouraged to speak out and may choose their MP as the person they should speak to.
“I think it’s important MPs can offer the right degree of emotional support, while also conforming to best practice in dealing with constituents who are often extremely vulnerable.
“Hopefully this session was a helpful way of ensuring that we are better able to support and reassure them if they do come forward.”
Kath Stipala, Head of Public Affairs at NAPAC, added: “We were delighted that Ms Ghani hosted this session.
“Child abuse is so much more common than many people realise, yet fear and shame make it hard to talk about. For survivors, knowing their MP cares enough to learn more about the impacts of abuse and will listen with warmth and a deeper understanding of the issue will do a great deal to create trust.”
NAPAC is the only national organisation offering support to survivors of all types of childhood abuse, including physical and emotional abuse and neglect. It runs a national support line, support groups for survivors and trains professionals who have frequent contact with survivors in the course of their work.
Further information about NAPAC can be found at http://napac.org.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The support line can be reached on 0808 801 0331.
The NSPCC helpline for under 18s is 0800 1111. For adults concerned about the welfare of a child, the number is 0808 800 5000. For information, visit www.nspcc.org.uk.
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