Government backing of It's Time campaign could turn lives around

Government recognises the importance of giving children the right support but there needs to be a clear commitment to those who've experienced abuse, says Peter Wanless

Alistair Burt, Karen Bradley, YP, Madeleine Moon and Peter WanlessAt our It's Time campaign launch event, at Houses of Parliament (Wednesday 10 February), I called for a clear commitment from government on support for children who have suffered abuse.

It's promising that dozens of MPs are now backing the campaign – after hearing about the scale of abuse young people in the UK experience, and the problems many face getting the kind of help that can turn their lives around.

Karen Bradley MP, Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation, and Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister for Community and Social Care, joined me in speaking at the launch. MPs also heard first-hand from young people who have helped shape the campaign.


More children than ever are coming forward to tell somebody about the abuse they have suffered but every child's bravery to come forward must be met with the right support. And for many of our most vulnerable children, that support is not available.

We welcome the government's commitment to invest £1.4 billion into children's mental health services. But I must also stress that this money can only be spent once. It is crucial that a portion is made available for abused children.

Government backing of our calls would:

    • increase funding for support services for children who've suffered abuse
    • produce clear guidelines on when a child should be offered  therapeutic support
    • increase research into the scale of the problem, as well as what type of support works best.

We know that government recognises the importance of giving children the right support. But without a clear commitment to children who have experienced abuse, we worry that they will continue to fall by the wayside.