Graham Wilmer, founder of the Lantern Project, said his estimation was based on “prevalence rates published by the government”, and he called for better support for victims.
He was appointed by the home secretary, Theresa May, as an independent panel member on the historical sex abuse inquiry, which has seen the resignation of two chairs and anger from some victims.
“You are dealing with a massive, massive problem. From what we have seen, if you don’t provide the right level of support and intervention to support people when they come forward you see very significant health problems – mental health and physical health – which have a direct cost to us as a society.
“We look upon child abuse and its impact now as a national health epidemic.”
According to Sky News, statistics show one in six boys under 16 have been sexually abused, while for girls the figure is one in four. The children’s charity NSPCC estimates that one in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused. I think NSPCC needs to update their numbers.
Police have re-opened an investigation into former Labour MP Lord Janner. He has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a boy in the care home operated by Frank Beck, who was convicted of 17 counts of child sex abuse, but was suspected of abusing more than 200 children in his care.
During Beck's trial in 1991, several people alleged that Janner had a relationship with a teenage boy at the home. It appears that at least one other victim has come forward as well.
The investigation was shut down in the summer as the 86 year old Janner was revealed by his lawyers to have severe dementia. Police have re-started the investigation recently.