01st June 2015 Written by Skills Platform

Image: Skills Platform Childrens day.International Children's Day is observed next week, on June 1, 2015. It was in 1925 that the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, proclaimed it to be so – and so it has remained ever since. 

Governments around the world now support this awareness day in order to draw attention to children's issues including countries such as North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Cuba and Bulgaria where the day is used to promote the rights and welfare of children in their society.

Few topics arouse such concern and utter disgust in our British society than neglect and abuse of children and yet it is a stark reality. Research suggests that one in three children who are sexually abused don’t speak out about it at theb time.

According to statistics released by the NSPCC

  • 1 in 14 children have been physically abused
  • Over 90% of sexually abused children were abused by someone they knew
  • Over 6,800 children were identified as needing protection from physical abuse last year
  • One third of sexual offences recorded by the police are against children
  • The NSPCC’s helpline responded to over 9,000 contacts about physical abuse last year
  • 1 in 3 children sexually abused by an adult did not tell anyone

Edify Training provides training to the health & social care sector and works with Skills Platform to market it. Their Safeguarding Children courses start shortly after International Children’s Day in June and there are some places left. Child sexual abuse can be difficult to identify and this course should help with what to do if we have our suspicions.

People who sexually abuse children can be adult, adolescent or a child themselves and although most abusers are male although females sometimes abuse children too. But it might be a surprising fact that 40% ofchild sexual abuse is carried out by other children or young people, with 9 out of 10 children being related to theirabuser in some way.

80% of child sex abuse happens either in the child’s home or the abuser’s but boys are more likely to be abused outside the home, for example, at leisure and sports clubs.

Children often don’t talk about abuse because they think it is probably their fault or their abuser tells them that it is normal or a ‘special secret’. Children are often also bribed or threatened by their abuser or told they won’t be believed. This encourages them to stay quiet – and it takes special knowledge and ability to identify the signs of the abuse.

Our Safeguarding Children Course is designed for anyone who works with or has regular contact with children such as child minders, play group staff and helpers, foster carers, teachers, church leaders, leisure industry personnel, health and social care staff.

During the course delegates will become more acquainted with the signs of a child who is being sexually abused. Some of these signs include changes in behaviour such as becoming aggressive, withdrawn or clingy; have difficulties sleeping or start wetting the bed. Sometimes the child might start avoiding the abuser.

It is also often the case that children may start exhibiting sexually inappropriate behaviour or begin using sexually explicit language.

The children may also start to have unexpected problems at school with difficulty concentrating and learning or they may begin to drop hints and clues that the abuse is happening without ever really revealing it outright.

Our Safeguarding Children course will not only define child protection and legislation but also how to manage disclosure and how to react and listen to a child during this process. It will then cover the ‘what’s next’ process – who needs to know and who can help? How should it be reported and referred?