Sexual abuse
helpline calls are rejected

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MINISTERS have been accused of failing in their duty after refusing to set up a national helpline for sufferers of sexual abuse.

Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell asked the Scottish Government to carry out
research to see if such a facility would be worthwhile in light of allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile.

She said a national phoneline would provide another outlet for victims to seek advice and help deal with the anecdotal increase in calls received by charities since the scandal broke.

But, in a response, Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: “While it is likely that survivor organisations may have received additional calls, none of these organisations have contacted the Scottish Government to raise any concerns.

“The Scottish Government does not consider that a scoping exercise is required to identify a helpline.”

Ms Mitchell said: “Clearly, more people will continue to come forward seeking assistance as a result of the widespread media attention. I think it is the duty of the Scottish Government to at least consider establishing such a resource and to see if there is a need.”