South Yorkshire MP backs Rotherham victim’s counselling petition

John Healey, MP

John Healey, MP

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A South Yorkshire MP has backed a petition calling on the Government to provide extra funding to counselling services for abuse victims.

Jessica, one of the Rotherham abuse victims, has set up the campaign due to the lengthy waiting lists to receive counselling in Rotherham and around the country for victims of child sexual exploitation.

More than 120 people from around the UK have now signed the online petition, with many giving personal reasons for their support for the campaign. MP John Healey has also announced his backing.

Another Rotherham abuse victim said she had taken an overdose in February but was now on a six-month waiting list for counselling. She said: “I’m still not a priority - all victims of sexual abuse in Rotherham need help now.”

Michaela Anaka, from London, said more needs to be done for victims. She said: “This country fails to recognise the true value of counselling which would save the NHS thousands in addictions and depression treatments.”

The petition is also being supported by Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey, who has written to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to highlight the campaign.

Mr Healey said Jessica has shown ‘extraordinary bravery’ by telling her story to show the difference counselling would make to her and young people like her.

The MP said he has also asked Home Secretary Theresa May about the steps she is taking to ensure victims of child sexual abuse have access to support.

n Visit www.change.org/p/ministry-of-justice-make-more-funding-available-for-counselling-services-for-child-sexual-exploitation-victims.

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