Government must increase the number of vital services that can help children move forward towards the future they deserve, writes Peter Wanless
Children who have been through the horror of abuse often feel trapped by their own disturbing thoughts, emotions and memories as they relive the crimes perpetrated against them – commonly by someone they knew, loved or trusted. Some describe these thoughts as like being in a prison – with no way out. We hear from children like this every day, through ChildLine and our other services.
More and more abused children are telling us about the problems they experience accessing therapy that can help them.
A wide range of barriers, including rigid therapy acceptance criteria, lack of local services and cruelly long waiting times, stand in the way. Often it is only when children reach rock bottom, perhaps self-harming or even after a suicide attempt that the services they need so desperately open up to them.
Other children struggle as best they can through the remaining years of childhood, find unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drugs, and see the impact of their abuse infect other aspects of their lives, their education, their employment, their relationships.