Child Sexual Abuse (Referrals)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 21st December 2017.

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The First Minister:

It is vital that all children have access to the specialist services that they require. In light of the member’s questions, I will discuss the issue further with the relevant ministers to see whether the Government should be taking more action in partnership with local authorities to improve the availability of those services.

When we see increases in statistics of this type, we can and should see it as something of concern—it is of deep concern—but we should also be aware that what often lies behind such an increase is an increase in awareness and people feeling more able to come forward. We should encourage that, but, as the member rightly said, when we encourage people to come forward, we must make sure that the services are there to support them when they do.