This is Graham Wilmer who received an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours at the weekend. He received the honour because of his tireless work to provide support for the survivors of child sexual abuse through the Wirral based Lantern Project (.http://www.lanternproject.org.uk/)
His citation reads:“For services to survivors and victims of abuse.”
The letter from the Cabinet Office says the award was made on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
But what the Prime Minister gives, the PM also takes away.
Just as he receives his award – a pinnacle of achievement and recognition for a sexually abused kid who now helps others – the government is stripping him of any funding which virtually means his operation has no cash after September. The full story can be seen on Exaro News – http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5010/mbe-for-head-of-project-helping-sex-victims-but-funding-is-axed
Funny that. Cash is no longer available just at the point when the Met Police investigations from Operation Yewtree ( Jimmy Savile and friends); Operation Fernbridge and Fairbank ( 300 leads into mainly gay sexual abusers of young boys) and Operation Torva ( just beginning to look at the Roman Catholic Salesian school order ( 30 or more victims, 20 or more priests and teachers under investigation) started by Graham Wilmer himself are bringing forward unprecedented numbers of people who need support. The Met Police has no money for supporting victims. And the extension of the North Wales investigation under Operation Pallial, is also bringing to light new victims, though to her credit Theresa May, the home secretary, has offered Home Office support to those victims.
How different is David Cameron whose Downing Street press office told me that he had put aside £10.5m over three years – and it turned out this was for rape crisis centres.
As Graham put it himself: “It is really time that David Cameron got his act together over funding to counsel people who have been sexually abused as children. You can’t have the police encouraging people to come forward as child abuse victims and then have no system of support for them.”
And then there is Liberal Democrat Home Office junior minister Jeremy Browne. All he could offer was a weasely worded letter to Mr Wilmer suggesting he contact the Merseyside police commissioner, Jane Kennedy for some cash. But I can’t see how Merseyside police should be expected to fund counselling for three major national child abuse investigations. I think they have a few other matters to deal with.
Jeremy Browne and David Cameron describe child sexual abuse as an abhorrent crime. Obviously not abhorrent enough to find any money to support what looks like thousands of victims.