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Regular news items from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner
Get the latest news and updates about the NSPCC work and activities in the fight for every childhood.
The Young Voice news updates include information about the Youth Council and updates from the Young Mayor and Member of the Youth Parliament.
The Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published on 26 June 2018 fifty accounts of child sexual abuse and institutional failure. The experiences were shared with the Inquiry’s Truth Project and illustrate a catalogue of failures from organisations including sports clubs, boarding schools, GP surgeries and the World War Two evacuation scheme.
Chair, Professor Alexis Jay said: “Reading these accounts, I was struck by both the vulnerability and strength of victims and survivors. Often, they describe how organisations and people they trusted turned away when they needed their help the most. Many who come forward to the Truth Project say they want their experiences to be used to help protect others. I want to reassure them that their information is central to the Inquiry’s success.”
A victim and survivor who took part in the Truth Project said: “It wasn’t easy sharing my story but the kind, empathic staff at the Truth Project supported me through it. I was listened to, believed and understood. I was given a voice and that is so very valuable. For the first time I feel truly hopeful that things might change for the better and maybe the suffering will stop. Thank you.”
The publication can be viewed online or downloaded from the ICCSA website: www.iicsa.org.uk/victims-and-survivors/experiences-shared.
The Inquiry is using the #TruthProject – and are keen for this record of accounts to be shared widely and seen by victims, survivors and professionals.
If you would be willing to consider signposting individuals you support to the Truth Project or hosting information about the Truth Project on your website to ensure that we can reach as many victims and survivors as possible with the opportunity to have their voice heard, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
You can find out more about the Truth Project at: https://www.truthproject.org.uk, by calling the information line: 0800 917 1000 or emailing email@example.com.
Pokemon Go is an app enabling users to create a character (any name) and take part in a mobile version of the Pokemon game made popular through Nintendo.
The NSPCC has a useful parent’s guide on Pokémon Go with tips and advice for keeping children safe
The NSPCC has seen a rise in calls to ChildLine with children as young as 9 worried about terrorist attacks.
Find out how to answer your child’s questions about terrorism on the NSPCC website.
On 11 July Thinkuknow launched a brand new public awareness campaign. Through social media, articles, blogs, films and more, they want to get parents and carers thinking and talking about the importance of discussing sex, relationships and the internet with their children.
Today is Day 1 of this three month campaign, and Thinkuknow are excited to introduce their first new resource entitled “The world changes, children don’t”. This short film that tells the age-old story of Romeo and Juliet… with a modern twist. It shows how the lives of these young lovers might play out online today, including the Lark ‘tweeting’ and Romeo ‘friending’ Juliet.
Behind this contemporary remake is the message that, although technology and social media can seem overwhelming and forever evolving, children and young people don’t change. We try to remind parents that (just as when they were young), their children are still exploring and creating their identities, keeping up with their friends and dealing with adolescent pressures. Although much of this now happens online, we remind them that the kind of parental support and advice which keeps their children safe ‘in real life’ will keep them safer online too. And the Thinkuknow resources can be a useful place to start in thinking about how they might frame these discussions.
Watch the film: The World Changes Children Don’t
Read more: Thinkuknow website
DfE proposes new CSE definition to combat ‘confusion’
The Department for Education has announced plans to replace the definition of child sexual exploitation (CSE) because the existing one is “confusing” for professionals.
There are currently a number of definitions of child sexual exploitation in use by voluntary organisations and agencies and the DfE said this has led to “some confusion and additional challenges” for practitioners working with children and families, and has resulted in inconsistent risk assessments and data collection.
The revised version, which has been put out to public consultation until 11 March, is intended to simplify the existing description. It emphasises that CSE is always the responsibility of the perpetrator and seeks to make clear that CSE is a subset of child sexual abuse but can differ from other forms of child sexual abuse (March 2016)
View the document here
Stop it Now – as part of a campaign to deter people from viewing and sharing indecent images of children online, Stop it Now! has launched an interactive film called “Choose another path” to show the consequences of viewing sexual images of under-18s (Feb 2016)
View the film here: Choose another path MPs call for police discretion in child ‘sexting’ cases
Police must be given greater discretion when dealing with children who share explicit pictures of themselves so that their future life chances are not harmed, a group of MPs and peers has said.
Read more: CYP News
The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort in the world of men working towards ending violence against women. In North Lincolnshire we are supporting this campaign and during the 16 days of action from 25 November, which is International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women. We plan to hold events to promote the wearing of the White Ribbon and support the eradication of violence against women. Events will be held in Scunthorpe, Brigg and Barton to promote White Ribbon values and get people talking about it. They will be held on the following dates:
Read more: Safer Neighbourhoods website
Read more about the national campaign: White Ribbon website
The Guardian reports on CEOP’s warning that sexting has become the norm for young people who are often unaware that they may be acting illegally.
Read more: Guardian 10 November 2015
Female Genital Mutilation is child abuse, and it affects hundreds of thousands of women and girls all over the UK. Every local authority must help to break this cycle of abuse.
Read more: Public Leaders Network
Professionals are invited to attend our next training session on the subject of FGM on 21 September. Please book with Erin Hall on 01724 297011 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
England captain Wayne Rooney appointed as NSPCC’s first ambassador for childhood – Barnardo’s handed £3.1m to tackle child exploitation in Rotherham. Wayne Rooney will encourage boys to speak out about depression, bullying and abuse. Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney has become the first ambassador for childhood at the NSPCC. As part of the role Rooney will promote the charity’s campaigns and services, particularly those aimed at fathers. He will also look to encourage more boys to speak out if they are suffering abuse or struggling with depression or bullying.
Read more: NSPCC
Update on SOS Campaign from Women’s Aid Federation of England (WAFE) to save Refuges – The SOS: Save Refuges, Save Lives campaign has front-page coverage in The Sun today. This is as part of a new campaign The Sun is running supporting calls on the government to protect refuges from closure and to provide sustainable funding. This campaign will be featured in the newspaper over the next three days and will be an on-going piece of work. This is fantastic coverage for the SOS campaign and will help put pressure on the government to continue the conversation about funding for specialist domestic violence refuges with us. You can read more and sign the petition on the Sun’s website
Teenagers need to be aware of the risks of revenge porn – anyone who shares sexually explicit images without consent could be jailed for up to two years from today, as new revenge porn laws come into force. The new law applies to adults, but young people need to be aware that taking and sharing any indecent image of another teenager under 18, even when it was taken with their consent, is a serious offence.
Read more: Huffington Post
FGM Follow Up Report – The Home Affairs Committee has published its report Female genital mutilation: follow-up, which identifies the lack of FGM prosecutions. While the report acknowledges the successful work by the media, politicians, survivors and campaigners of raising the profile of FGM, it says there still seems to be ‘a chasm between the amount of reported cases and the lack of prosecutions’.
Read more: Royal College of Midwives (19 March)
Serious Crime Act – The Serious Crime Act has received royal assent. It is now a criminal offence for an adult to send a sexual message to a child. The NSPCC’s Flaw in the Law campaign worked to achieve this change in the law which will ensure that the police will be able to take action against offenders earlier on in the grooming process.
Source: Parliament UK 03 March 2015
Further information: Serious Crime Act 2015
FGM – Girls should have the right to say you’re not cutting my parts up. Watch Tolu and Raised Voices in ‘Stop Cutting Our Girls: A Comic Relief Special’ on Wednesday 11 March at 10pm on BBC Three.
Read more: Huffington Post
Safer Sleeping Week – The Lullaby Trust are holding the first ever national safer sleeping week from 16 to 20 March 2015. There is a range of materials and training on the Lullaby Trust website.
Oxford CSE case – a council criticised over its handling of child sex abuse ignored “credible evidence” which could have saved one victim, a former detective has said.
Read more: BBC News
National CSE Awareness Day – The National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day on 18 March aims to highlight the issues surrounding CSE. It encourages everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse. To find out how you can help visit the National Working Group website.
CAADA changes name to SafeLives – From 25 February CAADA will be known as SafeLives. A new policy report – Getting it Right First Time has been launched. You can read the policy report and find more information about the future strategy and new name on the SafeLives website.
Law to make reporting of FGM mandatory – Professionals who fail to report cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in children could face the sack under a new law for England and Wales.
Read more: BBC News
Launch of Femicide Census database – a database will be launched online entitled Femicide Census: Profiles of Women Killed by Men. It is a project designed to force a recognition of the scale and significance of male violence against women.
Read more: The Guardian
Medical professionals to note children at risk of FGM – medical professionals will be asked to note on a child’s health record if they are potentially at risk of FGM, amid fears that doctors will be wary of treating patients who have undergone the procedure following the highly-criticised trial of doctor.
Read more: The Guardian
Doctor found not guilty of performing FGM. The trial marked the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.
See BBC news item
Domestic violence: how services come together to support high risk victims – to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Guardian journalist Louise Tickle was given exclusive access to a multi-agency risk assessment conference
Read more: The Guardian
Safer Internet Day 2015 will be celebrated globally on 10 February with the slogan ‘Let’s create a better internet together’. Further information is available on the safer internet website.
Following the appalling picture revealed by the Jay report into sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham, the Communities and Local Government Committee is calling senior officers at Rotherham Council to Westminster to account for the management failures that allowed this abuse to go unchallenged for years
The LSCB newsletter provides an update on current safeguarding issues that are relevant to frontline practice and the work of the LSCB. The latest newsletters are available to download below: