Helpline will reassure victims they are safe to name the perpetrators of abuse
A new Scottish charity helpline has been set up to encourage child abuse survivors to name their abusers.
Wellbeing Scotland said it brought forward the launch of the confidential service following the latest allegations about historic child abuse in football clubs.
Initially the line will run for a month as a pilot project after which the charity will evaluate its success.
Chief executive Janine Rennie said: "Whilst we recognise that this confidential third party reporting process does not provide detailed enough information to allow an investigation into that individual's experience, what it does do is allow Police Scotland to identify if perpetrators have been named by more than one individual, which can support their investigations into alleged perpetrators, particularly in the investigation of cases of institutional and organised child abuse."
Ongoing support will be offered to callers where necessary and those who do not wish to leave their details won’t be required to do so.
As victims can feel anxious about disclosing their experiences, the charity will help to alleviate fears while experienced counsellors will reassure victims it is safe to name their perpetrator if they wish to do so.
Callers who do not wish to leave their own details will not be required to do so and the helpline will be staffed by experienced counsellors, the charity said. Ongoing support will also be offered if it is sought.
“The information passed on is purely information on perpetrators with no pressure on the individual survivor to make a full statement unless they feel they have made an informed choice to do so," Rennie said.
"For any individuals who choose to report their own experiences, support is provided by Wellbeing Scotland throughout the process."
The helpline number is 0800 121 6027.