Derbyshire police supporting campaign to protect victims of child abuse
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As further pandemic restrictions take effect in England, Derbyshire Constabulary is supporting a new national campaign led by the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society and the Home Office to protect victims of child abuse.
The month-long campaign, ‘Something’s Not Right’, encourages young people to recognise different forms of abuse, report it and get help.
The campaign follows evidence suggesting that young people faced a greater risk of sexual abuse, criminal exploitation and domestic abuse due to the impact of coronavirus. The monthly average number of Childline counselling sessions about domestic abuse and abuse increased by 20% and 22% respectively in April-July 2020, compared to pre-lockdown levels.
The Internet Watch Foundation revealed that there were almost 9 million blocked attempts to access child sexual abuse material during the first month of restrictions alone. This trend has continued, with the charity revealing that in September, they received a 45% increase in calls reporting child abuse material online.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Bullock, said: “While children and young people are attending school during this period of lockdown, we know there will be extra pressures on families and potential avenues for abusers to take advantage of.
“Trusted adults, such as teachers, are an important part of helping those who are being abused, however, there is a role for everyone to play in keeping children and young people safe.
“In Derbyshire, we have close, well-established relationships with local authorities and other partner organisations and the national campaign led by the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, Childline and the Home Office supports the work that is already taking place in the county.”
Shaun Friel, Head of Childline said: “At the NSPCC calls to our adults’ helpline and Childline about abuse and neglect significantly increased as many children were left isolated behind closed doors with their abuser.
“Abuse and neglect can have an impact which can last into adulthood. As we move into tighter restrictions, we all have a role to play in keeping children safe.
“Our frontline teams are still here for children who feel they have nowhere else to turn to for help and adults with concerns. It is essential that all children know how to speak out and that Childline is here to support them no matter what their worry is.”