The term ‘abuse’ has many definitions and can take on many forms. In essence, abuse can be summarised as ‘the intentional harm of an adult or child by another person’.
Abuse can occur over a period of time but it can also be a one-off occurrence. It can be physical, racial, sexual, emotional or financial. It can happen in person, online or indirectly through other people or mediums.
Many people remain silent about instances of abuse for years, even decades; and there are many reasons why people choose to maintain their silence. They can fear repercussions from their abuser. They might be scared they won’t be believed. Or they could be looking to protect others from enduring the same harm. In some cases, the person who is being abused is financially or emotionally dependent on the abuser and feels they have nowhere to go. In other instances, they believe the abuser to be “untouchable” i.e. someone of status that had the means to successfully protect themselves rendering their accusations insignificant or pointless.
Recent high-profile prosecutions of business people, celebrities, musicians, sports stars and politicians across the globe have highlighted just how seriously society now take reports of abuse and how far the authorities will go to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice – regardless of their “status”.
The most important thing to remember is that all of these cases began with a simple conversation with a person who was in a position to help and support. A friend, family member, work colleague, teacher, support worker, charity worker, community leader, police officer, social worker or lawyer. And the first crucial step the victim took was to break their silence and instigate that initial conversation. As impossible as it might have seemed at the time, once they had placed themselves over that threshold, the grip of the abuser started to be released and their healing process began.
Victoria Price from Altrincham Solicitors Price Slater Gawne said, “On a local level, the police now have dedicated teams that specialise in prosecuting these types of cases and they are in a position to offer a much greater level of support to victims of abuse than ever before. This did not use to happen in the way it does now.
“Granted, the systems are still not perfect and some people will still feel aggrieved by the processes they have to follow. However, things have improved dramatically over the last few years and they will continue to get better as more people come forward. Only by learning from an individual’s experiences can the authorities work on improving best practice.
“The first step is always the hardest and we would urge any victims of abuse to speak out. If there is anyone out there who doesn’t feel in a position to strike up that first conversation with a friend or family member, we would urge them to call us. We handle cases of abuse on a daily basis and one of our highly-trained solicitors will gladly help them to work out their next steps. Where victims feel unable to make contact via phone, we also offer a Live Chat facility on this page where initial contact can discreetly be made and a return call/email scheduled for a time that is convenient to them.
If you, or someone you know, find themselves in need of advice relating to an incident involving any form of abuse, contact us in confidence on 0161 615 5554, via live chat on our website www.psg-law.co.uk or email one of our solicitors on firstname.lastname@example.org.