Hugh James Legal held the 2nd National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) to target improving the response to CSA cases.
Last year the NSPCC, a children’s charity, revealed that 465 child abuse cases were reported to the Gwent Police in 2018/19 which is lower than the previous year. However, South Wales Argus reported that CSA cases have risen to an all-time high.
The conference, in association with NSPCC, targets the shared attitude in society towards CSA, as well as supporting victims and prosecutions.
Jonathan Bisson, a Professor at Cardiff University, believes when you are distressed from experiencing CSA you tend to use a coping mechanism that causes additional issues such as, drink, using drugs, harming yourself.
He adds, “the truth is, following sexual abuse, 50% or even more people who are exposed to it report traumatic stress symptoms and with prolonged childhood sexual abuse, you are at a much higher risk at developing more complex forms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“So some of the research we are doing now is to develop better interventions to deal with those issues in addition to the flashbacks and the nightmares.”
The event was aimed at professionals and organisations involved in preventing, addressing and prosecution CSA.
Chief Executive of Embrace Child Victims of Crime, Anne Campbell said, “If we can provide the right kind of support for anyone who has experienced sexual abuse when they were children, they will have the best chance to be able to pick up the threads of their lives.”
She also encourages society to start using the word ’survival’ for anyone who has been sexually abused rather than the word ’victim’ because “’survival’ is a word full of hope.”