A WINCHESTER-based sexual abuse helpline has reported a sharp increase in calls following publicity about serial paedophile Jimmy Savile.

Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling normally receives 90 calls a quarter but says calls are 20 per cent up over the last month since the scandal broke about the TV presenter abusing children.

Manager Gary Stubbington said: “We have had an increase in calls and in referrals to us for counselling. When people who have been abused hear other people’s stories it impacts on them and they relive the trauma they suffered. They feel the need to do something about it.

Mr Stubbington said:“We want to encourage people to come along and get support and advice. They do not need to suffer in isolation, to suffer in silence.”

The helpline numbers, staffed by trained volunteers, are 01962 871717 or 871718, Tuesday to Thursdays 7-9.30pm and Mondays 11.30am-1.30pm.