More than one in ten child abuse victims are only primary school age, NSPCC reveals under new campaign

By Danielle Wainwright

More than one in ten children who contacted childline about sexual abuse are primary school age, shocking new research revealed today.

In nearly all cases, the children who contacted the charity about sexual abuse or fear they would become a victim knew the offender, research by Childline found.

Of the children who attended counselling sessions, more than 40% of them had never told anybody about their abuse.

There are 83 Manchester children aged under 11 having counselling sessions regarding sexual abuse currently.

The figures highlight the risk to the very young, something the NSPCC is attempting to tackle through the launch of its Underwear Rule campaign which helps parents have conversations with their children about keeping them safe from sexual abuse.

Kemi Olubodun, ChildLine service manager in Manchester, said: “It’s incredibly important that we protect children from the risk of sexual abuse as soon as possible, and this can be done through simple conversations with children at a young age.

“It’s a sad reflection on society that children of primary school age are being abused in this way but it’s a reality we have to face and prepare for. We can’t just sit idly by and hope it never happens- that will simply put more children at risk of harm.

“The good news is that many young children feel confident enough to contact us for help and advice and understand that sexual abuse is never acceptable.”

The statistics show there were over 9,100 contacts about sexual abuse where children gave their age and 11% of these were just 11-years-old or younger.

The Underwear Rule campaign helps parents teach their children that their bodies are private and the NSPCC has developed a ‘Talk PANTS’ guide to help parents explain and children remember.

Privates are private.

Always remember your body belongs to you

No means no

Talk about secrets that upset you

Speak up, someone can help

For more information on child cruelty click here.

Picture courtesy of Jon Challicom, with thanks.

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