CYNON Valley AM Christine Chapman has called for more help to be made available to children who are displaying sexually harmful behaviour.
Her plea comes after shocking NSPCC research claimed that as many as one in eight children are abused.
Referring to the children’s commissioner for Wales’s annual report, the AM spoke of the need for a more co-ordinated, consistent approach to delivering services for these children and young people.
“As the annual report states, there are very few teams providing specialist services to groups of children who have been abused or who display sexually harmful behaviour,” she said.
“Many of those children who have been abused suffer mental health problems and, as a result, display sexually harmful behaviour in adulthood.
“I am aware this issue is not talked about enough, other than to condemn it,” said Mrs Chapman.
She argued that improving the services available to these vulnerable youngsters would, in the long-term, lower the level of child sexual abuse and help those children who have been abused not to develop sexually harmful behaviour.
Simon Jones, NSPCC policy and public affairs manager for Wales, welcomed Mrs Chapman’s comments.
“We urge the Welsh Assembly to proactively bring together key agencies to discuss how best to tackle this issue of young people who display sexually harmful behaviour,” he said.