Support offered to victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham

CRIME: Crime scene.
CRIME: Crime scene.

A confidential helpline has been launched to offer support to victims of sexual exploitation across the Dearne Valley and Rotherham.

The 24-hour support service is a single point of contact for people who have suffered abuse in the past, or those who may be being exploited now.

It was launched last week, in the wake of the report by Professor Alexis Jay which revealed at least 1400 children had been sexually exploited in Rotherham by men of mainly Pakistani-heritage between 1997 and 2013.

The report highlighted failings in child services and led to the resignation of former Rawmarsh councillor Shaun Wright as South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, along with Kilnhurst man Roger Stone as council leader.

Paul Lakin, leader of Rotherham Council, said: “It takes an incredible amount of courage for someone who has suffered abuse to take that first step and seek help.

“In talking to groups and organisations we know how important it is that when people feel the time is right for them to ask for support, it is crucial that we make sure help is as easy to find as possible.

“This confidential helpline provides a single point of contact for people of all ages who want to speak to someone about their experiences, and seek further help and support.”

The helpline is being run by national charity, the NSPCC, on behalf of Rotherham Council, and provides support to people of all ages.

It is staffed by fully-trained practitioners who will be the first point of contact for people seeking further help.

The NSPCC will listen to their experiences and concerns, and where appropriate, working with the individual, will make contact with other agencies to ensure they receive ongoing support. The helpline and email address is staffed round the clock, seven days a week. Ring 0800 7319256 or email address.