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Do victims of historic child abuse have a new hope?

The headlines of late have been dominated by news of various child abuse scandals and cover-ups, and in the wake of these cases at last there seems to be some good news on the horizon for victims of child abuse

 

The high number of abuse cases coming to light recently has highlighted a nationwide issue that has historically been an unjustifiably taboo talking point but as more claims arise; changes look set to be implemented to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself. The prevalence of child abuse is shocking and a suspicious lack of investigations into the problem over the past few decades has meant that many are now campaigning for forces to address this issue with the attention it deserves.

Some of the most prominent cases recently include the scandal that has rocked Rotherham to its core, as innumerable child sex abuse rings have been uncovered in the area and are believed to have targeted around 1,400 children from 1997-2013.

There has been many accusations of a deliberate cover up of these crimes by the police force, accusations fuelled by large swathes of missing documents detailing the scandal and first-hand accounts from victims. Furthermore the government enquiry into the matter, The Jay Report, has found that there was a collective failure by both the police and the council in addressing this & the commons home affairs select committee has said there is compelling evidence to suggest both the police and council willingly ignored information regarding the extent of child abuse in the area.

 In light of this Rotherham’s entire cabinet resigned and a new team has been put in place to improve standards and as a result of the findings. Following this many arrests have been made including three new arrests just last month.

This however isn’t an isolated issue, many of the most prolific scandals involving sex abuse recently have been centred on celebrities, with Operation Yewtree being launched as a result of the revelations of Jimmy Savile’s abusive past. A number of high-profile household names have been taken to court and found guilty of these historic crimes including Gary Glitter, Dave Lee Travis, Rolf Harris and Max Clifford. However, other celebrities such as Freddie Starr, Jimmy Tarbuck and Jim Davidson were all questioned but released without charge.

Perhaps the most poignant of recent findings have been the accusations of a high-level paedophile ring operating in Westminster, which has been reported to have been covered up by Senior police & government staff including then prime minister Margaret Thatcher and whose activities are deeply shocking, with allegations of several murders involved. The head of the child abuse enquiry High Court judge Justice Lowell Goddard and will look at both the allegations within the government and at the failings of the judicial system.

Due to the revelations made in the past few years the nation’s attention has been focussed on the reparations & prevention of these crimes against societies most vulnerable, both past and present. The various enquiries and convictions are giving historic victims hope for getting the justice they deserve and paves the way for systematic changes in both process and outlook for a safer future for children. Everyone from the police and celebrities to care workers are under fire for their failures, and there is a re-invigorated drive to provide justice to those that have been failed. 

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