THOUSANDS of historic sex abuse cases against children have come to light across the last four years, official figures have revealed.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) recorded more than 2,200 non-recent child sex abuse cases between 2013/14 and 2016/17.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) believes high profile sex scandals like the Jimmy Saville case have urged more victims to speak about abuse they suffered.

Forty-seven-year-old Maria, who was sexually abused by her father as a child, stressed it is never too late to contact the police.

"I went to the police to report my father when I was 25 and the conviction has helped me recover," she said.

"I don’t want to have a strong relationship with anyone. I’m also far too altruistic – I give so much of myself to feel good about myself – but I often feel worse. I have had breakdowns, have depressive episodes and I’ve attempted suicide as an adult.

“But I am determined and I’ve got dreams and ambitions."

The alarming figures were obtained through a Freedom of Information request, show there were 450 recorded cases last year. The statistics cover TVP's entire policing area.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of NSPCC, added: “It doesn't matter whether the sexual abuse happened a year ago or 50 years ago, it is never too late to report it. It's clear that for far too long, many people who suffered horrendously as children felt they could not speak up, were not believed or did not know who to turn to.

“Although these rising figures paint a worrying picture of widespread abuse, it is encouraging that so many are finally finding their voice in a climate today where they know they will be listened to and supported.”

“What's important now is survivors of abuse receive the support they need and that the people who carried out these vile offences are identified and finally brought to justice.”