THE number of parents talking to their children about keeping safe from sexual abuse has substantially increased following a recent NSPCC campaign, a new YouGov poll has found.
Research into the impact of the NSPCC’s ‘Underwear Rule’ campaign found that the proportion of parents who felt confident talking to their child about keeping safe from sexual abuse rose from 68% to 81% among those who had seen, heard or accessed materials from the charity’s campaign.
The proportion of parents who knew what to say to their children to keep them safe from sexual abuse also increased from 74% to 90%.
The campaign is aimed at helping support parents and carers to explain how to make it easier to have conversations with primary school age children about sexual abuse. It includes a range of parental guidance leaflets and supporting tools and tips. All materials are age appropriate and child friendly and are available to view and download on the NSPCC’s website.
Shaun Friel, who heads up the ChildLine Schools Service in Northern Ireland, said that it is “never too early” to empower children to keep safe:
“Over half of victims of sexual offences in Northern Ireland in 2012/13 were under the age of 18.
“Our research has shown a staggering misapprehension of the risks around sexual abuse. Quite simply, ‘stranger danger’ is a much less significant concern than people believe – our research indicates that in 90 per cent of cases the offender is someone already known to your child.
“We know that awareness of sexual abuse has risen dramatically in recent months, but we need to ensure that the harsh truth really registers with parents – sexual abuse isn’t a travesty confined to years gone by. By the same token, we recognise that this is a challenging subject matter, so we want to give parents the confidence and the tools to explain how their children can keep safe and speak out.
“The good news is that we’re now finding that the proportion of parents who have spoken to their child about this issue has risen from 46% to 64%, following the campaign. It’s a quick conversation but it could make a big difference.
“It’s much easier than you may think and you don’t have to mention abuse or sex at all. Just ask them to remember the ‘Underwear Rule’.”
Talk PANTS helps children understand the key points of the Rule:
* Privates are private.
* Always remember your body belongs to you
* No means no
* Talk about secrets that upset you
* Speak up, someone can help
The NSPCC’s campaign complements the work of its ChildLine Schools Service, which is visiting every primary school in the UK advising children on how to stay safe from all forms of abuse.
* Fieldwork was undertaken with 500 parents of children aged 5-11 prior to campaign launch w/c 24thJune 2013, and with 751 parents of children aged 5-11 between 30th July – 13th August 2013. The field work was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK parents of 5 to 11 year old children.
The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity specialising in child protection. Their vision is to end cruelty to children in the UK and make a difference for all children by standing up for their rights, listening to them, helping them when they need us and by making them safe. The NSPCC runs projects and services across the United Kingdom and Channel Islands to help vulnerable children.
They provide ChildLine, the UK’s free, confidential 24-hour helpline and online service for children and young people and a helpline for adults who are worried about a child or want advice.
If you have concerns about a child or young person, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, text 88858 or visit www.nspcc.org.uk]]>