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Big rise in reports of sexual abuse across Sussex
Victims sexual abuse are coming forward in their droves because of the publicity surrounding the Jimmy Savile case.
The number of people contacting rape crisis services in Sussex has dramatically risen since revelations emerged about the presenter’s past.
The trend has reportedly been reflected nationwide as the scandal gives victims confidence in sharing their years-old experiences.
Lifecentre, which runs a helpline and counselling service in West Sussex for people who have been sexually abused, has reported a 70% rise in cases referred to it, and more than 1,000 more visitors to its website this month.
Since ITV’s Exposure programme lifted the lid on Savile’s past on October 3, Lifecentre has had 29 people referred to it – compared with 17 in all of last October. Referrals come from police or doctors.
The Chichester-based charity said the number of people visiting its website has increased to 3,437 – a 64% rise compared with September.
Director Maggie Ellis said: “There is a huge number of people who have never had the help that they need.
“For a lot of people, their big fear is they will be met with cynicism and disbelief.
“The profile of the Jimmy Savile case is giving people courage to help them get the support they need, and to believe that they will be met with concern and positive support.”
Yesterday it was reported that the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) had had a tenfold increase in calls, and child protection charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation had had a 50% rise.
Children’s charity the NSPCC said it had received 161 calls relating to Savile, which have been passed to police.
Last week The Argus reported that seven people had contacted Sussex Police following the revelations to say Savile abused them.
Scotland Yard was dealing with 200 possible victims of Savile at the last count from 14 police force areas, and has launched an investigation into people who are still alive as a result.
To speak to Lifecentre call 08448 477879, or visit www.lifecentre.uk.com. Under-18s should call 0808 8020808.
In Brighton and Hove and East Sussex, call Survivors Network on 01273 720110 between 7pm and 9pm on Wednesdays and 7pm to midnight on Fridays, or visit www.survivorsnetwork.org.uk.
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