Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

Sex abuse victims 'must get specialist support'

Sex abuse victims 'must get specialist support'

Encouraging abuse victims to come forward without a specialist support system in place is "totally irresponsible", campaigners have said.

In an open letter, 150 signatories including Rape Crisis and Refuge, are calling for fully-funded support to be included in the upcoming Victims Bill.

It was written by a woman whose friend helped convict their abusive running coach but then took her own life.

The government says it is improving support for victims at every stage.

The letter's author Charlie Webster and her friend Katie belonged to the same running group in Sheffield as teenagers. But the best friends never shared with each other that that their coach Paul North had sexually abused them over many years.

In 2002, North was jailed for 10 years after Katie and another victim reported him to police. Then aged 18, she had found the strength to give evidence against him in court.

But once North was convicted, Katie's mother Sue said her daughter was abandoned by a criminal justice system that seemed more interested in the offender than the victim.

"In a way, she was sacrificed," she told the BBC. "She got let down by the police, by the running club, and she got left hung out to dry."

Katie was offered very little therapeutic support during the court process and nothing over the next 20 years.

"I can't see how she could have been expected to have got over that and just got on with life," Sue added.

While North served just half of his sentence, his victims were left to deal with their ongoing trauma. For Katie, this culminated with her taking her own life at her home in Australia in January this year aged 39. Her mum said she had never got over what had happened.

In her open letter, Charlie (pictured left) wrote that Katie (right) deserved better than how she was treated


The Victims and Prisoners Bill, which is aiming to offer improved, legally-defined support to crime victims in England and Wales, is to be debated by MPs in the Commons on Monday.

But campaigners are concerned that a key element is missing - guaranteed funding written into law to provide the specialist support services needed to help these victims recover from their trauma.

Ms Webster and charity Rape Crisis have sent the letter to the Justice Secretary Alex Chalk. Its signatories include other charities like Women's Aid, plus athletes Sebastian Coe and Paula Radcliffe.

In the open letter, Ms Webster shares Katie's story, explaining that her friend had done what society had asked of her.

"She spoke out, she stood tall despite victim blaming and because of her courage, others were saved," she writes. "Katie did her duty to society. But what about Katie? What did the system do to help her? She deserved better."

Ms Webster urges the justice secretary to ensure sufficient multi-year funding is allocated to ensure victims are given access to counselling and emotional support to help them rebuild their lives.

Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Assaulted in Central Copenhagen
Germany and France Oppose EU Luxury Car Restrictions to Russia
French Citizen Arrested in Russia for Alleged Military Intelligence Gathering
Germany's Defense Minister Calls for War Preparedness by 2029
Deutsche Bank Revises Eurozone GDP Outlook for 2023
Widening Wealth Gap in Europe
FTI Group Files for Insolvency, Affecting Thousands of Travelers
Germany Announces €23 Billion Tax Cuts to Support Inflation-Hit Households
West Nears Plan to Tap $300bn in Frozen Russian Assets
The European Central Bank (ECB) has cut interest rates for the first time in nearly five years
Putin Warns Against Western Arms Deliveries to Ukraine
Slovak PM Blames Opposition for Assassination Attempt
Study Finds Covid Vaccines May Have Contributed to Excess Deaths
EU Commission Considers Broader Digital Surveillance Measures
Macron to Host Zelensky in Paris for Crucial Talks
Italy's Prime Minister Meloni to Visit Migrant Centers in Albania
Conservatives Plan to Define Sex as Biological in Equality Act
China Accuses MI6 of Recruiting Chinese Government Staff as Spies
Nigel Farage Makes Eighth Attempt to Become UK MP
UK Poll Predicts Historic Victory for Labour Party
Orban Amplifies Anti-NATO Rhetoric Ahead of Elections
Meloni Urges EU Parliament to Adopt Right-Wing Coalition Model
Venice Implements New Tourist Restrictions
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Urges US to Stop 'Smearing' China
Hungary Commits to Enhancing Investment and Trade with Cambodia
The Reality of Social Europe: Homes, Training, and Jobs
China Warns EU Against Tariffs on Electric Vehicles
Chinese EV Makers Target European Market with Competitive Prices
×