Sex abuse victim calls on government to support more victims
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
The victim of a Golders Green paedophile has launched a campaign calling for the government to provide more support to sex abuse victims.
Yehudis Goldsobel started charity Migdal Emunah two years ago, supporting victims of child abuse, after enduring years of mistreatment by family friend Menachem Levy, 41, of Princes Park Avenue.
She has launched a petition urging home secretary Theresa May and policing and justice minister Mike Penning to invest in more independent sexual violence advisers (ISVAs).
Ms Goldsobel, who has waived her right to lifelong anonymity, saw father-of-seven Levy, an Orthodox Jew, jailed for three years in June 2013 for abusing her over a six-year period, starting when she was 13.
The 29-year-old, chief executive of Migdal Emunah, said: “After I finished my two-year court ordeal, I met with my local police borough commander and the chief of sexual exploitation and child abuse in the Met.
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“They said, ‘You know, we have ISVAs’ – that was the first time I’d heard about an ISVA.
“I’d met other counselling organisations, people from CPS, but not once in my two-year ordeal was I told about an IVSA and that they could help me.”
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The IVSA role was commissioned by Baroness Stern through the Home Office violent crime unit in 2005 to provide specialists to support victims in prosecuting attackers.
But Ms Goldsobel says there are just 87 certified ISVAs in the UK, funded by a mix of charity and government grants.
It is a shortage she blames on a lack of government funding.
“I want the government to realise that, without sufficient support for victims, they won’t be able to go through the court process,” she said.
“If you give the victims the right support, you will get more prosecutions and more convictions, so it’s a win, win for everyone, but it’s got to come from government funding.”
To sign Ms Goldsobel’s petition, visit you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/support-for-victims-of-sexual-abuse