The fallout from the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal has seen the number of telephone calls reporting sex abuse to a charity helpline nearly double since last year.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) helpline received 594 calls in June and July this year about sexual abuse, compared with 323 in the same period last year. The figures relate to the number of calls referred to police and social services by the NSPCC. John Cameron, head of the helpline, said: “The number of calls this summer was significantly higher than last year. Eight months on, we can confidently say the Savile scandal is changing the way in which people react to abuse.
“There appears to be a clear shift and the public now seem better equipped and more confident to report their concerns. It’s very encouraging to see adults, including those who don’t have direct responsibility for children, take action if they think a child is at risk.”
Mr Cameron said the Savile abuse scandal had shocked the nation but also increased public awareness of how difficult it was for children to speak out. It was crucial for adults to report any suspicions or concerns they have straight away, he added.
Jimmy Savile, the veteran broadcaster who died in 2011, was revealed last year to be one of the UK’s most prolific sexual predators.