Testimonials

“I am a survivor of both sexual and domestic abuse. I blocked out my experiences for several years but eventually I was unable to ignore how broken I was inside. Migdal Emunah have been there for me ever since I reached out for help. One to one therapy as well as a fortnightly support group, work in tandem to help me recover.”
Tova, 26

“I was terrified to face my past and share my journey with others. When I contacted Migdal Emunah I was still afraid but doing something brave empowered me. Meeting others on a similar journey has been a giant step forward and is speeding up the healing process. Joining the bi weekly support group has taken away a huge chunk of loneliness that engulfed me for years. I am very thankful for my new friends and the wonderful understanding staff at Migdal Emunah.”
Sarah, 36

“What I found so helpful about Migdal Emunah is it gave me a place I felt I belonged, just meeting other people who had been through similar experiences in the support group made me feel normal, and completely accepted.”
A, 27

“I was in such darkness when I turned to Migdal Emunah. Their patience, acceptance and kindness had helped me to start questioning the negative, distorted thinking and beliefs system I hold. I am forever thankful for the individual and group therapy I attend, which Migdal Emunah organised for me. Knowing I’m not alone, making new friends and having a brilliant support system has made me hopeful that life can be better and that I don’t need to live in the shadows anymore. Thank you!”
L.R.J, 22

“Child Abuse left me for dead. My self-esteem, my identity, the person I call ‘me’ disintegrated into thin air. I became nothing, invisible. Child Abuse left me so lonely, so terrified, so depressed and anxious of everything; I’m sometimes still surprised I’m alive. Child Abuse took away my feelings and left me numb, Child Abuse still holds me in its grip, hisses at me and makes me believe I deserve to suffer, to be dead.

Migdal Emunah and therapy are the medicines I take to relieve myself off Child Abuse. They make me feel alive, infuse me with pride for who I am and that I am ‘me’. For the first time in my life I have friends who care, understand, listen and sooth. They make me feel I deserve everything that this world has to offer.
Migdal Emunah are giving me my feelings back, they help me release my grip off my past and allow me to trust and heal. Thank you Migdal Emunah for helping me put myself back together again, for allowing me to appear and take my place in the world. You are slowly saving my life, you care.”
B, 28

Donate

Volunteer ~ Trustee Roles

We are looking for motivated and forward thinking individuals to join our already fantastic board of Trustees. Being a very small organisation our Trustees have a greater say in the direction of the charity as well as day to day activities. We are the only charity in the community supporting a very specific client group and aim to provide the utmost professional and respectful service, thus we all bring those qualities to the table.

If you are seeking an opportunity to give back to the community in a meaningful and impactful way then get in touch – we look forward to hearing from you.

Volunteer ~ Social Media Manager

We are looking for a social media manager to lead and manage our social media platforms in order to boost visibility engagement. This involves managing our online presence by developing a strategy, producing good content, analysing usage data, engaging appropriately and managing campaigns.

This would require a few hours a month but would need organisation and forward thinking.

 

Our services rely on your donations; please support us so we can support others.

The money you give will provide much-needed help for the organization, from general running costs to the bigger expenses. Such as support groups, individual therapy, training for staff, school training days and community informative evenings.

Please donate via the link below, all payments are secure, and information will not be passed on to third parties.

Thank you

Services

Due to a cut in funding we are currently unable to take on new clients or provide support services.

Independent Sexual Violence Advisors – Coming soon

Our Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) is trained to look after your needs, and to ensure that you receive care and understanding. They will help you understand all the options available to you, how the criminal justice process works, and will explain things to you, such as what will happen if you report to the police, and the importance of seeking professional support.

Our ISVA is there to provide you with information only so that you can make the right decision for you.  By contacting them, you are not expected to report any offence to the police.

What can you expect from your ISVA?
  • Confidential and Independent Service – Not Linked to the Police
  • A safe, comfortable and private place to meet
  • Full explanation of the Criminal Justice System
  • One to One support & Guidance through the Investigation and Court Process
  • Weekly Telephone/Email Support
  • Information and support to help you report a crime to the Police
  • Fast-track referral pathways to supporting agencies
  • Assistance to submit anonymous intelligence to the Police
  • Coping Skills
  • Signposting and referrals to other specialist agencies
  • A bespoke care plan just for you

Our ISVA has received extensive training and comes with experience of supporting people at a time of crisis. They are funded by the Mayors Office for Police & Crime and cost you nothing. They are here to represent your best interests and make sure you have all the information you need to make informed choices about your case and your future.

Adult Individual Counselling

All clients have an initial assessment with the Service Development Practitioner and are then matched with a suitable counsellor. You have the opportunity to share your experience with them and talk about what you would like to get out of your time in therapy. It is also an opportunity to see if you feel comfortable to continue to work together with your therapist, as we acknowledge and respect research that highlights the importance of a good therapeutic relationship. Our individual counselling service allows you to work on a one-to-one basis with your personal therapist; with the aim of making positive change in your life. We aim to provide you with a safe and supportive environment to explore any problems you may be experiencing. Talking to a trained professional may help you look at problems from a different angle and begin to equip you with the necessary strategies to work through your difficulties. Counselling aims to alleviate suffering, solve problems and help people live more satisfying lives. It often targets a particular symptom or situation and explores ways of dealing with it. Distinct methods of counselling start from different theoretical bases – typically humanistic, psychodynamic, cognitive or behavioural. You will generally have weekly appointments with your therapist.

Support Groups

A safe and supportive environment that individuals can meet each other and share. Facilitated by a qualified counsellor, meetings occur weekly. In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually non-professional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for find a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others’ experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks.

Couples Counselling

Couples counselling, previously known as marital therapy or marriage guidance, addresses the problems arising from adult sexual or intimate relationships. The relationship, rather than the two individuals, is the ‘client’. Our very closest relationship, a marriage; is based on intimacy and trust. When it stops working we are affected deeply and our health and happiness suffer. Our sense of identity and self-worth often rests on the strength of our relationships and we can despair when our prime relationship fails. Pressures of work, family, money and health all take their toll. Patterns of behaving that we learned as children often re-emerge in our adult relationship. A childhood ‘scapegoat’ may start to feel blamed for everything by the partner who once adored them. Psychosexual issues can highlight a problem within the relationship or arise from the past. Childhood sexual abuse, for example, can impact on an otherwise happy relationship and can be helped with a suitably qualified practitioner. Communicating and staying connected during difficult times may feel impossible. Skills are available to help you listen and be heard, particularly when the unbearable needs to be heard and acknowledged.

Children & Adolescent Individual Therapy

Counselling for children and young people may differ from counselling for adults, and will depend on the child’s age, specific difficulties and their development. Different methods may be used to encourage young children to be able to express their difficulties, such as play and art. For example, reading stories and talking about feelings of a character in that story may help the child to discuss their own feelings, or drawing/painting/drama may help children to express themselves. These methods all give the counsellor a great insight into the unconscious mind of the child. Older children may prefer talking therapy, or a mixture of both, and the counselling approach will depend on a particular individual. Although different methods may be used for counselling children, the aim of counselling for both children and adults is ultimately the same; to help the individual cope better with their emotions and feelings.

Play therapy in general is based on the belief that play links a child’s internal thoughts to the outside world. It connects concrete experience and abstract thought while allowing the child to safely express experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires that might be more threatening if directly addressed.

Art therapy invites clients to express their feelings, dreams, wishes and inner experiences through different art media. The art work is considered to be a representation of the object world, but those creating it project part of themselves onto the work. The art, therefore, is seen to contain both the object and a representation of the client’s self. It can allow clients to distance themselves from what they are working with.

Family Therapy

Family therapy emerged from systems theory, which sees families as living systems. There are different models of family therapy, but often common elements include the use of genograms or family trees, videos or one-way screens and narrative therapy. There is focus on context of problems, thus family therapy can be seen as an ecological approach.

What is Abuse?

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

Sexual

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.

Both men, women, and children can commit acts of sexual abuse. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males.

Emotional

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

Physical

Physical abuse is when an adult deliberately hurts a child causing them physical harm i.e, cuts, bruises, broken bones or other injuries. It may involve hitting, kicking, pinching, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating. It may be by hand or an object, for example, household utensils. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers), or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs (Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2011).

Abuse victim feared ‘bumping into Orthodox Jewish paedophile’ on the street

By Tim Lamden, 7 March 2014, Ham&High.

A woman who suffered years of sexual abuse as a child feared she could be confronted in the street by her abuser after he launched a bid to be released from jail.

Yehudis Goldsobel, 28, who has waived her right to lifelong anonymity, told the Ham&High she had been left panicked after discovering Menachem Levy, 41, an Orthodox Jew, had appealed against his conviction and three-year prison sentence for sexual abuse.

The father-of-seven, of Princes Park Avenue, Golders Green, was jailed last June for abusing Ms Goldsobel over a six-year period, beginning when she was just 13.

But on Tuesday of last week, Levy, who was a friend of the victim’s Orthodox Jewish family, had his case at the Court of Appeal dismissed by three of the country’s top judges.

Speaking after the verdict, Ms Goldsobel said: “I hadn’t mentally prepared myself for bumping into him in the street. It saddened me to think this weekend I could bump into him in north west London.

“It’s all well and good that I’m an adult standing up now. But I was once a child and he ruined my childhood. We all have free choice to do what we do and he chose to do what he did and he ruined my childhood.”

Lawyers representing Levy, who was convicted of two counts of indecent assault and cleared of one count of rape last year, argued his convictions were “unsafe” because jurors were misdirected by the trial judge and were “pressured” into reaching verdicts.

His barrister, Tania Griffiths QC, also urged judges to reduce his jail term, claiming his sentence had had a “devastating effect” on his family and had resulted in him losing his business.

She told the court Levy has not yet seen his youngest child – born after he was jailed – and would miss the “critical date” of his eldest son’s Bar Mitzvah, unless his sentence was cut.

But judges Lord Justice Fulford, sitting with Mr Justice Griffith Williams and Judge David Griffith-Jones QC, dismissed the appeal, insisting the convictions were safe and Levy’s sentence was appropriate, in light of the grave crimes he committed.

Ms Goldsobel said: “When I read the appeal it was about how he hasn’t met his two-month-old baby and how his family don’t deserve this.

“Of course I feel sympathetic to them because they didn’t do anything wrong either. When he did what he did he didn’t just ruin my life, he ruined his family’s life.”

Ms Goldsobel, who started charity Migdal Emunah two years ago, offering therapy and advice sessions for victims of childhood abuse, is now campaigning to make changes to the criminal justice system following her experience of the appeal system.

“All the people in the courtroom [in the original trial] were so particular to make sure it didn’t come to this,” she said. “Obviously there was some way for them to create an appeal which drags the victim back in. The fact that he can go through two trials and then an appeal means the whole thing went too far.

“The fact that any perpetrator can do that is dragging their victim back into their mess and that, for me, is heartbreaking.

“But that’s how this country works. It’s a criminal justice system, not a victim justice system.”

For more information about Ms Goldsobel’s charity, visit www.migdalemunah.com.

http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/court-crime/abuse_victim_feared_bumping_into_orthodox_jewish_paedophile_on_the_street_1_3401593

Sex abuse arrest at Jewish school

By Simon Rocker, Jewish Chronicle, 27 February 2014

Police investigating allegations of sexual abuse of pupils at Carmel College, the now closed Jewish public school, have made an arrest, the JC has learned.

Thames Valley Police said that a 76-year-old man from Essex had been arrested and had been released on bail until March 24 this year.

Last March, Thames Valley confirmed that it had launched an investigation into claims of sexual abuse of students by at least two former members of staff at the Orthodox boarding school at Wallingford outside Oxford between the 1970s and 1990s.

Opened in 1948, Carmel taught 350 pupils in its heyday in the 1970s. By the time of its closure, student numbers had dropped below 200 at the “Jewish Eton”, whose annual fees at £14,000 made it one of the UK’s most expensive schools.

Ignorance of child sex abuse enables revictimization

Nov. 26, 2011

It is incomprehensible to think that someone such as Jerry Sandusky, former football defensive coordinator at Penn State University, would rape a 10-year-old boy in a campus locker room shower, as authorities have alleged.

More disturbing is how many bystanders reportedly “knew,” and how long authorities say that Sandusky was able to continue victimizing young boys. The betrayal that the youths experienced in that victimization, and what they continue to experience since it has been revealed, is deplorable.

It is rare to have a non-offending witness to most child sexual abuse incidents. How could anyone watch a rape in progress, and not step in to stop it? Why would a legendary coach such as Joe Paterno not demand the administration report the rape? Why would students riot about the firing of Paterno, knowing that he did nothing when university administrators looked the other way? Ignorance.

If we want to prevent future victimization of children, and if we truly want to support victims of child sexual abuse instead of revictimizing them with thoughtless behavior, we have to understand it.

Offenders are not the creepy stranger in the trenchcoat we normally think of. They are usually someone the child knows, trusts and loves, and can be an upstanding member of the community. Offenders put themselves in situations where they have access to children and work to gain trust from the child and the parents. Offenders “choose” their victims: Who can be controlled? Who yearns for adult attention? Who may be at risk or have behavioral problems? Because who is going to believe a troubled child over the adult if they do tell?

The offender grooms the child, plays wrestling or touching games to break down resistance to touch, showers them with gifts and kindness. When sex abuse allegations are made, people who know the offender just can’t believe it. The person they know would never be capable of that kind of action, and the offender uses that equity, sadly, to gain belief over the child.

Perversely, bystanders may ignore the victimization because of the offender’s good reputation, or because the child had a troubled history; they may rationalize that because the act didn’t “physically” hurt the child, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that child sexual abuse has a devastating, long-term impact. It changes the way the child views the world, and more importantly, how they view themselves. It makes them feel dirty and worthless, setting up a life of low self-esteem, relationship problems, anger issues and self-destructive behaviors such as cutting, addiction and promiscuity if not treated.

Statistics indicate one in four girls and one in seven boys will become victims of child sexual abuse, and these are only reported numbers. Believe the child. They rarely lie about child sex abuse, but sex offenders are expert liars.

Abused children often exhibit symptoms; changes in behavior, anger, nightmares, self-abuse, depression, drop in grades, perfectionism, regressive behaviors, bedwetting (know the symptoms; check our website for a list).

Pedophiles rarely have only one victim; they can have hundreds if not stopped. Tennessee law states anyone who suspects child sexual abuse is mandated to report, and the person with the direct information must make the report, not their supervisor. Let’s strive to be appropriate bystanders who will report suspected abuse and not revictimize the victims with ignorant words and actions.

Verna Wyatt is executive director of You Have the Power.

http://www.abolishsexabuse.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1300%3Aignorance-of-child-sex-abuse-enables-revictimization&catid=72%3Aus-news&Itemid=180

Alhambra High School administrator resigns amid sex abuse case

January 19, 2014

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (KABC) — A woman has accused her former teacher of sexual abuse. The victim taped a phone call, where she appears to confront her alleged female abuser.

The video has received more than 25,000 views since it was posted on YouTube Friday. It has also led to an Alhambra High School administrator’s resignation and triggered a police investigation.

“I recently found out where a former teacher of mine has been working,” the woman says in the video, “and before I was thinking of reporting her for the abuse that she had done to me, since I was 12 years old.”

A link to the YouTube video was sent to the Alhambra School District on Friday. In the video, a woman in her late 20s claims she was sexually abused for years, beginning at the age of 12, by a then middle school teacher in Riverside.

The woman in the video then calls her alleged female abuser, who she claims until Friday was an administrator at Alhambra High School.

During that call, she confronts the woman about the alleged sexual abuse, saying her life and her childhood were ruined.

“Do you realize that you brainwashed me and you manipulated me and that what you did was wrong?” the woman asks her alleged female abuser. “Yes, and I regret it,” the alleged female abuser replies.

The woman on the other end of the line admits what she did was wrong, expresses regret, and admits she is ashamed and disgusted with herself. “You sicken me, and every day when I think about what you did, you sicken me,” the victim says. “You should be so ashamed and so disgusted with yourself.”

“I am, I am,” the alleged female abuser replies.

Eyewitness News normally conceals the identities of alleged victims of abuse, but the woman has acknowledged through comments on her YouTube page that she is aware of the attention the video is getting. In the comment, she said she is glad she went public with her situation.

“I don’t even know where to begin. I am so grateful to all of you for making this video go viral. Because of all of you who shared she will not be getting away with these things that she has done to me or anyone else.”

The woman on the video names her alleged abuser. Eyewitness News, however, has not been able to independently confirm the name.

The alleged female abuser resigned after being interviewed by the district over the video, but currently faces no charges. She has not been identified by police or the Alhambra Unified School District.

The district says it was alerted to the video on Friday. They prepared the following memo to send to students and staff: “The Alhambra High School administration contacted the Alhambra Police Department immediately upon discovering the link. The matter was handed over to the Alhambra Police Department who immediately began their investigation.”

The Alhambra School District says no students at Alhambra High School have come forward with allegations against this administrator. Alhambra police have now passed this investigation on to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

For video: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news%2Flocal%2Flos_angeles&id=9400191

Civil suit filed by victim of Nechemya Weberman, Satmar spiritual adviser convicted of sexual abuse

7th January 2014

A year after a spiritual adviser in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community was convicted of sex abuse at trial, the young woman he molested is taking him to court again.

The teenage victim of Nechemya Weberman is suing her imprisoned former tormentor for emotional distress. Her civil suit, filed last month in Brooklyn Supreme Court, requests unspecified damages, and also names as a defendant the United Talmudic Academy, the yeshiva in Williamsburg where educators referred her to Weberman for violations of personal conduct standards.

During Weberman’s headline-making criminal trial in 2012, the victim testified for four days about how the spiritual adviser forced himself on her and made her reenact porn-movie scenes during disturbing counseling sessions that began when she was just 12 years-old.

The abuse spanned a period of about three years between 2007 and 2010.

The victim, who is now 19 and enrolled in college, “will continue to suffer depression, anxiety, emotional distress, anguish and ridicule, embarrassment, humiliation and degradation,” according to papers filed in connection with her civil suit.

The Daily News could not reach the victim for comment, and is withholding her name due to the nature of the abuse she suffered.

“This is a minor … who was sexually assaulted over an extended period of time by an older person in a position of authority,” her lawyer, Mitchell Aaron, told The News on Tuesday.

Weberman began molesting the girl when she was just 12 years-old.

The yeshiva she had attended required her to receive spiritual guidance from him in order to remain at the school. At the conclusion of the criminal trial, Weberman, 55, was found guilty in December 2012 of all 59 counts lodged against him. He is currently serving a 50-year sentence in Shawangunk Correctional Facility in upstate Ulster County.

Weberman’s lawyer, Michael Cibella, said his client maintains his innocence and will file his appeal in coming months. Cibella said he expects the civil suit will be put on hold until after the appeal process is over, he added. “We obviously deny the allegations in the complaint,” Cibella said.

The victim’s lawyer said Weberman’s conviction in the criminal trial makes their civil claim easier to prove. On the other hand, Aaron added, the inmate has little to no financial resources. That’s one of the reasons why the suit was filed against the yeshiva , he said. “We think we’ll be able to prove that the school put this in motion then stood by and did nothing,” Aaron said. “They had responsibility, we believe, to oversee what was going on when she was meeting with him.”

The victim had testified at trial that she was sent to the unlicensed Satmar therapist after she had gotten in trouble at the yeshiva for not complying with its strict modesty rules, such as the requirement that students wear extra-thick stockings. She was mandated to continue receiving spiritual guidance from Weberman as a condition to remain enrolled in the school.

An administrator at the yeshiva declined to comment on the civil suit when contacted by The News on Tuesday.

oyaniv@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/victim-nechemya-weberman-files-civil-suit-article-1.1569142#ixzz2pnUbF9nT

Sex Offences Sentencing Overhaul

By The Evening Standard, Thursday 12th December 2013

Previous “good character” may be considered as an aggravating factor when it has been used to commit a sexual offence, new guidelines drawn up by the Sentencing Council said.

In practice, this means in the future the likes of disgraced It’s A Knockout presenter Stuart Hall, who used his fame to commit crimes against women and children, could receive more severe sentences.

Covering more than 50 offences including rape, child sex offences and trafficking, the official guidance places more emphasis on the long-term and psychological impact on victims than the previous 2004 guidelines it will replace next year.

The new guidelines also bring in higher starting points for sentences for some offences, such as rape, which the new guideline now allows a starting point of 15 years for top category sentences.

“Across the justice system, changes have been made to ensure that the alleged offenders’ behaviour and the context and circumstances of the incident are scrutinised, rather than the credibility of the victim,” Chief Constable David Whatton, national policing lead for violence and public protection, said.

Other significant changes include the removal of “ostensible consent” from the guidance, that is, the idea that a child over 13 can agree to sex, while greater emphasis will be placed on grooming by individuals and gangs.

Although work on the new guidelines started a number of years ago, it comes after a series of high- profile sex offence cases, which have had an impact on attitudes towards sex crimes.

Revelations about disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile saw high numbers of sex attack victims come forward, while cases involving grooming gangs in Rochdale and Oxford raised questions about social care and attitudes to victims.

Sentencing Council chairman Lord Justice Treacy said: “This guideline will make real changes to the way offenders are sentenced for these very serious, sensitive and complex offences.

“It will help judges and magistrates sentence in a way which protects our communities from this kind of offending and the suffering it causes.

Lord Justice Treacy said the new approach would bring about sentences that reflected what the victim had been through and take in a full profile of what the offender had done, such as grooming victims or abusing trust.

“No-one wants more people falling victim to offenders who come before the courts, and public protection is central to this guideline, whether this is by jailing offenders or, where appropriate, imposing a rigorous treatment order and other restrictions to prevent reoffending,” he said.

The new guidance also takes into account the increased use of technology in sex offending since the previous guidelines were issued.

In many of the offences, a new aggravating factor is “recording the crime”, as filming and photographing victims has become more common.

Due to the growth in online offending, the Council has included offending committed remotely, such as via a webcam, when dealing with offences like sexual activity with a child.

Judges will also have to take into account aspects such as offenders lying about their age, grooming via social media or asking children to share indecent photos of themselves.

The guidelines, which will come into effect next April, are the largest most complex produced by the council and were drawn up after a consultation with victims groups, judges, magistrates, lawyers, the police, NGOs, the Government, academics, medical practitioners and the wider public.

While the Sentencing Council can recommend a starting point, offenders can still only receive the maximum sentence available at the time the offence was committed.

Barnardo’s deputy director of strategy Alison Worsley said: “It is difficult to imagine the torment experienced by the vulnerable victims of crimes such as these.

“The publication of this new sentencing guideline will help to ensure the focus is on the perpetrator and not the victim.

“As the guideline emphasises, it is plain wrong to imply in any way that the experiences of sexually-exploited children are something they bring on themselves.”

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: “There are often long waiting lists for sex offence treatment programmes in prisons and, despite a recognition by the Sentencing Council of internet-based offending, there are currently no treatment programmes which address this in prison.

“This poses a significant challenge to indeterminate sentenced prisoners who have to satisfy the Parole Board that they are no longer a risk.

“Supportive services in the community such as CirclesUK provide an important contribution to rehabilitation, enabling people to take greater responsibility and reducing their level of risk.”

Victims’ commissioner Baroness Helen Newlove, whose husband Garry was killed by a gang vandalising his car, said: ” These guidelines highlight how vital it is for the court to fully consider the physical and emotional trauma that a victim goes through before making a decision. ”

Carolyn Hodrien, lead on rape and sexual offences for independent charity Victim Support, said welcomed the greater focus the guidelines placed on the impact on the victim.

“It takes real courage for a victim to report these horrific crimes and it is vital they know that the criminal justice system will focus on the credibility of their evidence and the long-term impact the crime has had on them, not their perceived vulnerabilities.”

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: “It is important that sentencing reflects the severe damage caused by highly manipulative and devious sex offenders, who may use positions of trust or celebrity status to target children.

“Increasingly technology is playing a part in the way offenders seek out and groom children, who may attempt suicide or self-harm as a result of their abuse. It is right that the guidelines reflect the harm caused and the people who cause this misery feel the full weight of the law.

“The outdated view that children can in some way be complicit in their abuse must be stamped out. The new guidance is a step in the right direction towards addressing this terrible myth.”

Lord Justice Treacy said it was “coincidental” that the Hall and Savile cases emerged while the guidance was already being worked on.

He acknowledged that “perhaps we should have” been quicker to recognise that children in sex cases should always be treated as victims rather than being involved in contributing to the crime.

The judge told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We are sending out a very strong message that the focus is on what the offender did and what his motivation was and that the child victim should not be treated as contributing to the offence.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/panewsfeeds/sex-offences-sentencing-overhaul-8999041.html