NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused in Childhood) has seen a tenfold increase in the number of adult survivors of child abuse registering for their support groups, from 10 registrations a week to a hundred per week in the past three weeks. The charity is calling for a refocusing on the lack of appropriate support for those who have suffered such painful trauma and abuse in childhood.

NAPAC’s CEO Gabrielle Shaw said: ‘We are getting a lot of calls from young men reporting abuse and some are extremely distraught during the call. But this is not just about football – huge numbers of people suffered abuse in childhood, within the family or institutions. Survivors often feel shame, pain and confusion about what was done to them. Abusers groom and manipulate children to blur the boundaries and shift the blame for their crimes to their child victims’

She continued: ‘We’ve seen a tenfold increase in demand for our survivor support groups since footballer Andy Woodward went public about the abuse he suffered. There is very little specialist support available for adult survivors across the UK. Many people feel desperate, yet there is minimal provision within the NHS and other sectors. It is time we stopped treating the symptoms of childhood trauma – such as depression, anxiety, self-harm and addictions – as stand-alone conditions and started offering people trauma-informed and focused support which addresses the childhood abuse that so often is at the root of these conditions’.

‘The problem is huge and it cannot solely be addressed by the voluntary sector – this is a public health issue and there are wider conversations we need to have about people’s health needs being unmet. It is unacceptable that so many people who suffered childhood trauma have to fund their own treatment privately or go without.’

NAPAC’s support group model draws on the latest research on developmental trauma disorders and is focused on empowering survivors to take charge of their recovery. Each group is fully evaluated using the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (CORE) model which is used throughout the NHS.

Find out more about our support groups here

Our current support groups are being funded by the Home Office and City Bridge Trust.

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