Rape Crisis (England and Wales) welcomes today's release of a report that exposes the scale and extent of Jimmy Savile's sexually violent and abusive behaviour. In particular, shocking and distressing as the revelations are, we're pleased that this case has highlighted the vast numbers of adult survivors living with the long-term impacts of childhood sexual abuse throughout the UK. This is consistent with the knowledge and experience Rape Crisis Centres have accumulated over decades of providing specialist sexual violence services to women and girls, over half of whom are adult women survivors of child sexual abuse .
The sexual offence statistics released yesterday and the recent Rochdale sexual abuse scandal remind us that sexual violence is still a huge problem and that too many agencies repeatedly and consistently continue to fail survivors. At Rape Crisis, forty years on, we continue to provide independent and confidential support services to women and girls whose lives have been affected by sexual violence. It is clear more than ever that the criminal justice system and other statutory and voluntary agencies must now dramatically improve their responses. External agencies must work with Rape Crisis Centres to challenge and change the cultures and attitudes which continue to allow sexually abusive behaviour to go unchecked. This will require a commitment from government to ensure that Rape Crisis services are adequately resourced.
Rape Crisis (England and Wales) believes that this is a turning point for how we deal with sexual violence and there is a real opportunity now to make the UK a global leader in how it deals with sexual violence against women and girls.