ONE of Scotland’s leading children’s charities is urging people to contact them if they have concerns about sexual abuse following the latest Jimmy Savile report.
CHILDREN 1ST, who recently launched its See. Hear. Speak. Act on sexual abuse campaign, says it’s vital that people affected by abuse get support as early as possible.
Anne Houston, chief executive of CHILDREN 1ST said: “We know it is difficult to talk about abuse – but we would reassure people that support is available – whether they have been affected by abuse directly or know someone who may be at risk. Our national ParentLine Scotland helpline (08000 28 22 33) is a first step.
“It is crucial that people who have suffered abuse get access to the right support at the right time to help them recover. However, there is a shortage of abuse and trauma recovery services across the UK, including Scotland. Of all the services CHILDREN 1ST provide the waiting list for our eight abuse and trauma services is one of the longest.”
The charity, with 129 years’ experience of supporting children and families, has just launched its Twelve Top Tips guide to protecting children as part of the current sexual abuse campaign.
Anne added: “We should not forget that children are most likely to be sexually abused by someone they know – a family member or friend. Right now, there are children in communities and homes across Scotland suffering sexual abuse who are too afraid to speak out and scared no one will listen or take them seriously.
“We believe it’s everybody’s responsibility to protect children and following these simple tips can help people do their bit to keep children safe.
“If anyone is concerned about a child, they can call ParentLine Scotland on 08000 28 22 33 seven days a week for advice and support on what to do. If a child is at immediate risk, we will ensure social work or police are contacted.”
For more information, please contact CHILDREN 1ST press office on 0131 446 2330 or on 07739 257587.
Note to editors:
Notes to Editor:
1. The Twelve Top Tips to help protect children is available to download here.
2. CHILDREN 1ST has been running its See.Hear.Speak.Act campaign on sexual abuse in November 2012 to raise awareness of the issue and in particular, to highlight the need for more services to help children and young people recover from the trauma of sexual abuse.
3. CHILDREN 1ST is one of the biggest providers of such services, providing eight across Scotland, but the waiting lists for these services are always among the longest – currently, there are 75 children who have waited more than six months to receive support. More information about our services is available here .
4. At CHILDREN 1ST we listen, we support and we take action to secure a brighter future for vulnerable children and families in Scotland. Our work is founded on over 125 years as the RSSPCC. We deliver services in homes and communities across Scotland. We work to safeguard children and young people, to support them within their families and to help them to recover from abuse, neglect and violence. We speak out for children’s rights and we campaign to change attitudes.
5. CHILDREN 1ST provides local services across Scotland as well as national services including ParentLine Scotland and our kinship care helpline. For more information about how we work to keep children safe in Scotland, visit www.children1st.org.uk.