Stamp it out: NSPCC launch new drive to stop child abuse in Greater Manchester before it even happens

By Danielle Wainwright

A major campaign by the NSPCC to stop child abuse in Greater Manchester before it has even happened has been launched by the new CEO.

Peter Wanless, the new NSPCC chief, has vowed to drastically decrease child abuse in the UK with the Now I Know campaign, which has already visited 17,980 children in 249 schools across Greater Manchester.

Mr Wanless, claims that we can achieve a massive reduction in child abuse if more is done to prevent it before it starts and is eager to put ChildLine in every primary school in the region.

The campaign will also have visits from ChildLine once every two years to talk to children about abuse, how to protect themselves and where to get help if they need it.

Mr Wanless said: “People in this country do not want to tolerate child abuse. We no longer need to convince them of the suffering it leads to, or the costs to future lives.

“Jimmy Savile’s crimes are one shocking illustration of the consequences when people do not speak up and are not heard, for whatever reason. But we must now inspire everyone to believe that such horrors can be prevented and that they can help.”

“We want children to be able to say ‘Now I Know’ – and not, ‘I wish I had known’. And we want everyone to play their part by looking out for children and reinforcing the messages about speaking up.”

The campaign is a major shift towards educating and equipping children with the adequate knowledge they need to act with confidence if they fear abuse, before it does terrible and lasting harm.  

“Protection after the event, vital as it is, can’t attack the root causes of the problem,” Mr Wanless added.

“Like us, many professionals and organisations are developing new thinking on prevention and the future tide of child abuse cannot be turned without this.

“By helping children understand and identify abuse in an age appropriate way, we can encourage them to speak out earlier and protect themselves and others from the devastating effects of abuse.”

Shocking statistics by the NSPCC revealing that at least two children in every primary classroom will have suffered some form of abuse or neglectin the UK has been a major factor in launching the campaign.

However, Childline are receiving calls from children aged over 11 who often talk about abuse that happened months or even years earlier, proving that kids are now confiding in the service. 

In a 2012 YouGov survey, 99% of schools across the UK claimed that their pupils’ knowledge of child abuse and bullying was enhanced as a raising awareness in teaching, whilst 91% stated that their pupils were now more aware of who to talk to if they felt unsafe.

Mr Wanless added: “Child abuse costs the UK billions of pounds every year, and that’s without taking into account the human costs.

“As we know, the National Audit Office estimates that only six per cent of public expenditure is focused on stopping problems from emerging in the first place.

“Through Now I Know we are responding to the vital shift ‘upstream’ to prevention with a unique UK-wide service that we know works and will enable us to empower younger children to prevent abuse from happening.”

To support the campaign, click here.

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