A "life changing" service for children and families affected by sexual abuse has been launched by the NSPCC.
The Lighthouse in Camden, London, is a facility providing a full range of support from social workers, health and the police to children and families affected by sexual abuse, all under one roof in a safe, comfortable environment.
NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless said: "Bringing this concept to life in the UK is a landmark moment for the NSPCC and all those that advocated this way of working and who have come together to deliver The Lighthouse."
“The eyes of the nation will be on this project which is organised around the needs of young people that have suffered from the physical and emotional trauma of sexual abuse. It is an enlightened approach which we hope will flourish," he added.
Based on the Icelandic Barnahus model, The Lighthouse will see the NSPCC, The University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust (UCLH), in partnership with Tavistock and Portman Foundation Hospital work together to provide a range of support under one roof.
Until now, young people who reported sexual abuse could face multiple interviews with social workers, law enforcement and medical professionals in different and sometimes unfriendly settings, while also struggling to access long-term emotional support.
The Lighthouse will also gather evidence from interviews to help gain more successful prosecutions in the future.
Investment bank Morgan Stanley havs raised over £1 million for the Camden-based facility, which was formally launched by Home Office minister, Victoria Atkins and The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "Children who have experienced sexual abuse have already undergone a horrific ordeal so it’s essential that we do everything we can to make their path to recovery and justice as simple as possible."
“This ground-breaking centre, The Lighthouse, brings together the NHS, social workers and the police in one place to make sure young people who have experienced sexual abuse get the support they need.”
Clare Woodman, Head of Morgan Stanley EMEA, added: “The Morgan Stanley Therapeutic Suite will provide life-changing therapy for children recovering from abuse and I’d like to thank the NSPCC and Morgan Stanley employees for their incredible commitment in supporting the delivery of this ground-breaking project.”
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