The latest figures on the number of sexual offences against children, recorded by police in Sussex, show a five per cent increase.
They rose from 791 in 2012-2013, to 838 in 2013-2014.
And last year, 97 calls received by the NSPCC’s helpline from people in Sussex about sexual abuse were so serious, they were referred on immediately to the police or children’s services.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said, “These figures are disturbing and clearly illustrate child sexual abuse is a continuing and widespread problem that needs urgent action. But we know this is still only a fraction of the true number of victims because some endure an agonising wait of many years before telling anyone – and others never reveal what has happened to them.
“It’s time to throw down the gauntlet to government which has to ensure all sexual abuse victims get specialist treatment to help them recover. By the end of this current Parliament there should be no children living in the shadow of abuse.”
The most recent figures were revealed today (June 17) as the NSPCC launches its third state of the nation annual report, How safe are our children? at the charity’s annual conference in London.
The report compiles the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across each of the four nations in the UK.
The NSPCC said it is not clear why the number of offences has risen.
It said greater awareness may be giving more victims the courage to come forward, including those reporting historical cases, or police forces have improved their recording methods.
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