Ministers urged to give more cash to help Rotherham abuse victims rebuild their lives

Ministers have been urged to stump up more cash to help victims of child abuse rebuild their lives.

Labour MP Sarah Champion, who has campaigned for victims of abuse in Rotherham, pushed the Government to bring forward new measures to provide more support.

The number of potential victims of child sexual exploitation in the South Yorkshire town stands at more than 1,500, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

A report published in 2014 estimated that 1,400 children were abused in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

The NCA, which is carrying out an independent inquiry, said the figure had risen to 1,510 and that at least 1,300 were female.

The Ministry of Justice has said that a new victims’ strategy will be published this summer, outlining a number of new steps.

Ms Champion, speaking in the Commons, said: “I’ve now spoken to two home secretaries, two prime ministers, countless ministers, the MoJ was in Rotherham last week.

“Still we are not getting the cash we need to enable at current count 1,520 victim to enable them to turn from victims to survivors.

“Will the minister please give us the cash we need?”

Justice Minister Phillip Lee accepted that the issue had “proved a challenge” but told MPs the department was “engaged”.

He said: “The dreadful incidents in Rotherham, which have sadly been replicated across the country and have proved a challenge both for the local and national government and the ongoing inquiry into child sex abuse, is also throwing up a significant level of incidents.

“Government is clearly engaged is with this process of trying to assesses that what is needed to help these victims of child sex abuse, both when they are children and indeed as adults.

“I’m under no illusions its not just the Justice Department, it is also the Health Department, Local Government Department – all government departments are going to have to wrestle with this issue in the coming years because there has been significant child sex abuse over recent decades.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Nick Ansell / PA Wire.