Historical Sexual Abuse Victims Have a Three Year Wait for Counselling
This shortfall has come to light following an increase, by more than 50%, of people coming forward with such complaints over the past two years.
The Survivors Trust has warned that victims coming forward with historical sexual abuse claims may give up trying to get the help.
The figures are coming from the Welsh government and supportive charities. More funding has been given to the relevant charities already, but the governments have said they will consider giving more to alleviate this pressure.
The Survivors Trust, a group for abuse support groups, has commented that high profile cases in the media have led to a rise in people seeking help. This rise is inevitably putting a strain on the available counselling services.
Currently it is estimated that 2000 people are waiting for counselling. New Pathways, a member’s organisations, says there are some people that have been waiting for up to three years already. These delays are making it really difficult for victims. Johanna Robinson, the trust’s national development manager for Wales, warns that telling victims there is no available help at the moment could ‘re-traumatise the victim and this could mean that person doesn’t have the faith to carry on [trying to get the support]’.
Children’s commissioner, Keith Towler, added that ‘in terms of counselling services there is some fantastic work that goes on but we haven’t got enough of it. Frankly that’s not good enough’.
It has been argued that further action, that isn’t criminal or related to the police, needs to be raised. Keith Towler was clear that ‘we have to make sure that good counselling services and support is available to them when they need it.’
A Welsh government spokesman has concluded that ‘we will consider emerging evident in determining funding allocations for the next financial year’.