Shocking figures on Suffolk sex abuse

TWO children under-10 years old were sexually abused every week in Suffolk during the past year, new figures have shown.

Jo Thewlis

TWO children under-10 years old were sexually abused every week in Suffolk during the past year, new figures have shown.

Research by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) revealed 117 children aged less than 10 years old were victims of sex attacks in the county between 2008 and 2009.

Figures supplied by Suffolk Police showed a total of 378 young people were subjected to sex offences in Suffolk last year, 34 of whom were under five years old while 50 victims were aged between 16 or 17.


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Philip Noyes, a director at the NSPCC, said: “We know that, as most abuse goes unreported, such figures can only ever give an indication of the true extent of the problem.

“Many children do not speak out about the sexual abuse they have suffered because they are scared they will not be believed.”

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The shocking figures point to an increase in the number of child sex offences in the county from the previous year.

A report released by the NSPCC in January 2009 showed 253 children were sexually assaulted between January and December 2008.

Of these, 51 children were less than 11 years old.

Nationally, the picture for 2008 to 2009 was equally grim, with 60 sex offences against children recorded by police in England and Wales every day.

A total of 21,618 sex crimes, including rape, gross indecency and incest were reported last year, as exposed in a Freedom of Information request by the charity.

One in seven victims nationally were aged under 10, of which 1,000 youngsters were aged under five.

Mr Noyes said: “We need to remember some children are so young they find it difficult to protect themselves or tell anyone what is happening.

“It is vital adults look out for them.”

ChildLine is a free, confidential, 24-hour helpline provided by the NSPCC on 0800 1111.

Adults who are concerned about a child's welfare can also ring the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk

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