Don Valley MP Caroline Flint has backed a plan for preventing child abuse and violence in teenage relationships following the launch the National Action Plan, Dare2Care.
he campaign is led by Rotherham MP Sarah Champion. The National Action Plan is the culmination of 18 months’ work examining how best to protect children from child abuse and has taken evidence from experts and leading campaigners.
Said Caroline: “I am proud to support the Dare2Care action plan and support the call for high quality, compulsory Sex and Relationships Education (SRE). Children and young people are at risk of sexual abuse, whether they are on the internet, in their bedroom or in a playground. Children and young people need to be made aware of the risks, and that must begin in schools. I am delighted that this campaign is supported by the Girl Guides Association, Barnardos and the Children’s Society.”
At the launch of the action plan, Sarah Champion said: 'There seems to be an acceptance in our society that child abuse is inevitable. I absolutely disagree with that. One child in every primary school class will experience sexual abuse and over 57,000 children are currently identified as needing protection from abuse in the UK. I won’t rest until all children can grow up without fear of abuse. Education is the best way we can protect our children.’
Dare2Care collaborated with academics, charities and survivors to develop the recommendations to prevent the endemic of abuse in the UK in the digital age.
The key recommendations of the action plan are the introduction from Key Stage One of age appropriate compulsory resilience and relationships education for all children, a public health campaign about the spotting the signs of abuse and training on abuse for all frontline professionals working with children.
Supporting the campaign Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan said: ‘All children are at risk of sexual abuse, whether they’re on the internet, in the playground, or in their own bedroom. Much, much more must be done to prevent this vile crime. Compulsory lessons on sex education and healthy relationships from an early age are essential to help children understand consent and respect. We also know through our specialist child sexual exploitation services that parents and professionals need help to recognise the signs of grooming and abuse and grasp the technology their children use, so they can keep them safe.
‘Building strong relationships between children, parents and other adults can help prevent abuse by enabling difficult discussions around potential abuse to take place. Children's centres can help develop these bonds by building parents' and carers’ skills and confidence and knowledge of where to go if they have concerns.’