Marina Yannakoudakis, Conservative MEP for London, today hosted a public hearing on child abuse in the European Parliament.

The event brought together representatives of support groups for those abused as children from across Europe, including the European Federation of People Abused in Childhood (EFPAC) of which Marina is a patron.

Marina said at the event: “Child sexual abuse is a sickening crime. As a lead negotiator on EU legislation on the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, I learned that the mistreatment of children knows no boundaries. Here is where the European Union can, for once, have added value – by protecting our children.

“I am pleased therefore to welcome representatives from five different EU Member States including Peter Saunders of the UK’s National Association of People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC).

“The recent cases in the UK of Jimmy Savile and the Bryn Estyn home in North Wales have underlined the fact that most children who are abused don’t talk about it until they become adults.

“This is why organisations such as NAPAC, which provides support to those who experienced ill-treatment, neglect or sexual abuse in childhood, are so important. I hope that by sharing best practice and by creating a network of survivors’ groups across Europe these organisations can provide the support to adults who need it.”

Lieve Halsberghe who is secretary of EFPAC and who has represented victims of abuse by the church in Belgium said:

“The European Federation of People Abused in Childhood would like to thank the British Government for the immediate and promised action taken following the outrageous catalogue of child abuse coming to light in the United Kingdom. The kind invitation and support of Marina Yannakoudakis and other Members of the European Parliament comes at a truly historic moment. EFPAC is delighted to be here in Brussels today.”