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Joint LSCB and NSPCC Awareness Raising Campaign

TACKLING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

A joint, local initiative led by the two Local Safeguarding Children Boards and the NSPCC – with funding support from Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner

Why should we be concerned about child sexual abuse (CSA) and sexual assaults against children?

We all want our children and young people to grow up without the fear and negative impacts caused by sexual abuse as these issues can have a massive and long-lasting impact on their future lives and wellbeing. Sexual abuse as a child can lead to acute feelings of betrayal, powerlessness, stigmatisation, guilt and traumatic sexualisation, as well as difficulties in forming and maintain relationships, mental health related problems resulting from trauma and physical health problems

We know from the volume of historic child sexual abuse cases that have emerged in the past decade that many children have suffered abuse, often carried out by those who were trusted to work with them in wide range of settings including care homes, sports and activity clubs, schools, hospitals, the church and within their own home and family.  Historic abuse victims have usually carried the burden of their abuse for many years and paid the cost of this in terms of their family lives and mental/physical well-being before they feel able to disclose the abuse in their adult life.

The Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Project is being supported by funding from Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner and is made up of strands of multi-agency work which aim to:

  • Improve multi-agency data collection and analysis related to this type of abuse in order to map and respond to trends
  • Ensure that pathways for support for children and families are clear, accessible and sufficient to support demand
  • Equip our multi-agency workforce, including schools and early years providers, with the knowledge and confidence to promote prevention messages to children and young people and be able to respond to concerns and disclosures about abuse robustly and with confidence.
  • Raise the awareness of parents/carers and children themselves of how to prevent child sexual abuse

The first of our Joint LSCB and NSPCC Campaign Launch and Awareness Events will take place on Tuesday 1st May 2018 and will be held at:

AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium (morning session)

Dorset County Museum with Dippy the Dinosaur (afternoon session)

Each event will provide research-based input by experts in this field, an outline of local campaign plans and an opportunity for multi-agency discussions about how we can spread the campaign out across the area and support parents, carers and professionals to have conversations with children in an age-appropriate way about how to stay safe from sexual abuse. This is part of the LSCBs’ wider strategy tackling child sexual abuse.

The Underwear Rule (also known as PANTS), provides a range of resources and support to help parents, children and professionals to talk about and understand how to stay safe from sexual abuse.

We know simple conversations – like crossing the road safely, bullying at school and dealing with strangers – help keep children safe, and that’s what the Underwear Rule is all about. It helps children understand that their body belongs to them, they have the right to say no, and that they should always talk to an adult they trust if they’re worried.

One in three children that have been sexually abused by an adult did not tell someone at the time. The campaign aims to raise awareness of PANTS with local professionals (particularly those in local schools, early years and childcare settings), parents and pre-school children; building the confidence for them to have conversations which can help to protect children from abuse.

Why are we doing this?

Child sexual abuse is largely preventable. The most effective way of preventing it is to raise awareness and educate children, families, communities and to engage our multi-agency practitioner network in supporting this work.

If we can support parents and carers, schools and childcare settings to regularly share key, age-appropriate messages with children from a very young age, this will help them stay safe and understand that:

P        Privates are private

A        Always remember your body belongs to you

N        No means no

T        Talk about secrets that upset you

S        Speak up someone can help you

More information, resources and advice are available from:

The NSPCC website:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/search/?query=child%20sexual%20abuse

PANTS resources can be downloaded from: www.nspcc.org.uk/pants

How to report a concern about Abuse

To make a referral regarding concerns about a child or young person, please contact the relevant Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub:

MASH@bournemouth.gov.uk            01202 458101 or 01202 458102

MASH@poole.gov.uk                         01202 735046

MASH@dorsetcc.gcsx.gov.uk            01202 228866

MASH@dorset.pnn.police.uk             101

Or contact the national NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000

Local support organisations include:

www.dorsetrapecrisis.org

www.actsfast.org.uk

www.the-shores.org.uk

Victims of historical child sexual abuse can seek support from:

www.truthproject.org.uk/Be-Heard/Support