Parents warn children not to talk to strangers — but unfortunately it’s more often someone the child knows who carries out the abuse. And when it’s the person charged with looking after the child (be it a parent, foster carer or care home worker) who is also the abuser, this can lead to feelings of immense confusion and betrayal on the part of the child. Not only the victim of horrific abuse, they may also feel like they have nowhere left to turn, that those closest to them have turned against them.
There are many different types of abuse. Whilst sexual abuse cases can often hit the headlines, physical and emotional abuse should never be underestimated. Neglect can leave life long scars. Official figures state that twice as many incidents of abuse occur in the home than outside, and the vast majority of children are abused by someone they know. Often this abuse still goes unreported. Such abuse will inevitably affect these children long into adulthood, leaving them with a deep mistrust of authority and society as a whole. It can lead to broken relationships and even a cycle of abuse; where the abused becomes the abuser. However this cycle can be broken; some abused parents manage to use their experiences as their motivation to protect their own children to the best of their ability.
Here at Jordans we meet many people who were the victims of child abuse. Whilst it can be difficult for them to come forward and speak to a solicitor, especially in having to provide details of painful experiences which have been buried deep inside for many years, for some it can provide much needed justice and provide a form of closure.