Home Secretary announces funding for The Lucy Faithfull Foundation

15 March 2019

The Home Office has today announced funding to The Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s Stop It Now! helpline of £600,000.

The confidential helpline has been running in the UK since 2002. It deals with all aspects of child sexual abuse prevention, including direct contact abuse, child grooming, and harmful sexual behaviour of a child or young person.

The funding boost comes following a sharp 65% rise in callers and visitors to the Stop It Now! helpline and self-help website regarding viewing sexual images of children online between 2016 and 2018.

Since the start of the Stop It Now! campaign to deter people from viewing these images, more than 5,000 people have called the helpline seeking advice and support to stop their behaviour. A further 2,418 people called for support regarding concerns about someone else’s online viewing behaviour.

Welcoming the announcement, Donald Findlater, director of the Stop It Now! helpline, said: “This additional funding will ensure thousands more get through to stop their illegal behaviour and stay stopped.”

The helpline had been at capacity, with more than 2,500 people calling each year and not getting through. The funding will allow the number of operator hours to be more than doubled.

Announcing the funding, the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, set out his support for our work, saying: “Child sexual abuse is a truly sickening crime and I’m committed to doing everything in my power to eradicate it from society. It’s vital we take action on a number of fronts. The Lucy Faithfull Foundation plays a key role in this work and has my full support.”

Case study of an internet offender who called the helpline:

“It can be intimidating to think of calling the Stop It Now! helpline, but I’d strongly encourage anyone who has any concerns about their viewing of online sexual images to do it. If something feels wrong, it most probably is and help is available.”

“There are serious consequences for anyone arrested for such behaviour, possibly including imprisonment, losing their job, friendships and relationships, losing contact with their own children as well as ending up on the sex offenders register.”

The funding will enable The Lucy Faithfull Foundation to support more people at risk of offending over the next 18 months.

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