Child on child abuse
Following an upsurge in cases of sexual harassment and abuse reported on the “Everyone’s Invited” website and TikTok, there is a new helpline to support potential victims in education settings. The dedicated number 0800 136 663, run by the NSPCC, will provide both children and adults who are victims of sexual abuse in schools with the appropriate support and advice. This includes how to contact the police and report crimes if they wish. The helpline will also provide support to parents and professionals too.
I am pleased to tell you that this term we will be participating in the NSPCC’s Speak out. Stay safe. online programme. This consists of an online assembly and supporting classroom based activities. Speak out. Stay safe. is a safeguarding programme available to all primary schools in the UK and Channel Islands. It aims to help children understand abuse in all its forms and to recognise the signs of abuse in a child-friendly way. Children are taught to speak out if they are worried, either to a trusted adult or Childline.
If you would like to know more about the Speak out. Stay safe. programme you can find information on the NSPCC website www.nspcc.org.uk/speakout or I would be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.
The NSPCC has also developed an adapted version of their assembly for parents/carers to use at home with their children. This can be found here: www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/support-for-parents/safety.
Supporting at home
As a parent there is a lot you can do to support your child to develop positive views and healthy behaviours around sex, most importantly – talk to them. Talking with your child about positive principles for sex could help them to:
? say no to sexual acts or conversations that could harm them or others
? choose sexual acts that are positive and safe for them and the other person
? know they can come to you if something is worrying them
? develop positive sexual self-esteem
Tips for talking
‘How do I describe positive sexual behaviour?’. It can be difficult to know what to say, see below for a starting point on describing positive sexual behaviour. Parent Info also provides further information on talking to your child about sex.
‘When should I talk to them?’. Start having these chats as early as your child learns about sex, and if and when you sense their sexual interest might be developing or their puberty is beginning.
‘They won’t want ‘the talk’ from me’. There is no need for a big sit down chat, little and often is much more effective. Look for opportunities for small chats, for example using film or TV scenarios to ask their views and open up discussion.
‘It’s embarrassing for both of us’. In these chats you’re showing your child that it’s normal and important to talk about sex. It will soon become more comfortable to discuss and shows your child that they can talk to you about anything.
‘What else can I do?’. Starting regular chats is important, but you can also help your child with your actions. Lead by example, by showing respect, empathy, kindness and good communication in your relationships.