NSPCC relaunch campaign to help tackle rise in child sex abuse

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The NSPCC have relaunched a campaign to get parents and children talking about how to stay safe from sexual abuse.

The Talk Pants campaign is relaunching this half term, after figures show a 13% increase in sex offences against children aged between four and eight.

Staffordshire Police recorded 218 sexual offences against children in this age bracket in 2016/17.

Police figures show there have been 6,613 reported sexual offences against children in this age range in England and Wales in 2016/17.

This is a 13% increase from statistics reported the previous year.

Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “We know that lots of parents have already used Talk PANTS to speak to their children about the dangers they may face from sexual abuse as they grow up, both in the online and offline world.

“However, the figures we have revealed today show that we all need to do more to help young children learn how to stay safe, these conversations should be as normal as teaching them to cross the road.”

An activity pack has been created including a cartoon dinosaur and a catchy song to help parents tackle the sensitive subject.

It aims to teach children that their body belongs to them, they have a right to say no and should always talk to an adult that they trust.

After being abused herself as a child Donna-Marie Wright, a mum of seven, said: “I think Talk PANTS is a brilliant concept, I wanted to talk to my children about staying safe from sexual abuse, especially the younger ones (aged four and five) because they don’t really understand.

“It’s a fun way to engage the kids, and the PANTS activities are done in a non-invasive way – there is no talk of sex.

“As soon as they are old enough to understand, it is a conversation all parents should have with their children.”

The campaign previously known as ‘The Underwear Rule’ was launched in July 2013.

But with numbers of sex crimes against children on the rise, the NSPCC are asking parents to get behind the campaign and purchase the activity pack this half term.

The pack is available from the NSPCC online shop for a suggested £5 donation.

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