Our new films to help you keep children safe

5 January 2021

As a new year begins and another national lockdown comes into place, there are lots of things that will be very different this year. With everything that’s going on, it’s important to make sure children are kept safe both online and in person.

It’s not always easy to know how to spot the warning signs of abuse in both adults and children, or to know how to start difficult conversations.

But as children spend more time either online or offline away from adults who protect them, it’s vital to know how to keep them safe.

Learn how to keep children safe

To help families stay safe, we’ve made 12 short films that aim to inform parents and carers about the risks of child sexual abuse and how to reduce them. They aim to get the facts across so that families are in a strong position to prevent harm from happening in the first place, or to get the help they need if something has happened.

The films cover topics such as ‘Understanding child sexual abuse’, ‘The effects of sexual abuse on children’, ‘Why children don’t tell about abuse’ and ‘What to do if you suspect abuse’. There’s also information on how to make a family safety plan to ensure that families are able to openly discuss any issues they might be experiencing or any concerns they have about themselves or someone close to them.

Stop It Now! helpline reaches more people than ever during lockdown

Between June and August of this year, the helpline was contacted by over 2,760 people, an increase of 47% compared to the first three months of lockdown, with more than 800 people contacting the helpline in July alone.

The helpline has continued to support parents worried about a child or young person’s behaviour as well as adults concerned about themselves and other adults during this challenging time.

  • Around 1 in 6 children, under the age of 16, will experience a form of sexual abuse. Many of these children feel unable to tell anyone what has happened to them, as they feel this abuse is their fault or they don’t realise that what is happening to them is not normal.
  • While most abuse is committed by adults, as much as one third is committed by people under the age of 18.
  • Most children who are abused, are abused by people they know, trust and love.

Donald Findlater, director of the Stop It Now! helpline, said: “For most of us, it is difficult to understand why anyone would sexually abuse a child and cause such harm. As parents, grandparents and carers, our instincts are to nurture and protect our children.

“So, whilst many people feel they’ve already heard enough about abuse – with horrific stories in the press about children being abused by strangers – it is vital that we face reality if we are wanting to keep our children safe.

“And the reality is that most children who are abused are abused by people they know; people they trust; people they love”.

You can find the videos on the Parents Protect website, along with other information on how to keep your children safe.

Talk to us if you’re worried about child sexual abuse

Our confidential child sexual abuse prevention helpline (0808 1000 900) is available for anyone with concerns about child sexual abuse. Callers do not need to give identifying information, so can remain anonymous. We speak to thousands of people every year and help them act to protect children and young people from sexual abuse and exploitation.

As well as our confidential helpline, you can get support from our experienced advisors through our live chat and secure messaging service.

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