Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Helpline for victims of sexual abuse receives 650 contacts

The helpline launched in response to the allegations of sexual assaults in schools on the Everyone’s Invited website has received 650 contacts from concerned people in the five months since it was launched.

The helpline, run by the NSPCC, was commissioned by the Department for Education after the Everyone’s Invited website set up for victims to anonymously post their experiences of sexual abuse gained more than 11,000 posts, some from children as young as nine. These included reports about sexual name calling, unwanted sexual touching, sexual assault and rape by other pupils as well as online abuse like sharing nude images without consent.

At the same time as the helpline was commissioned, Ofsted was asked to carry out a review of safeguarding policies in schools to look at the extent and the severity of the issue and ensure schools have appropriate processes in place to allow pupils to report concerns freely, knowing these will be taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

The Ofsted review, which also found that boys share content of nude girls between them like a collection game, found that sexual harassment, including online sexual abuse, has become ‘normalised’ for children and young people.

There have now been 650 contacts made to the helpline in the five months since it launched on 1 April and 118 of those contacts were serious enough to refer to an external agency such as police, local authorities and the NHS.

Where details were known, 121 contacts were from adult or child victims: 73 were female, 41 male, two transgender and 5 unknown. There were 67 contacts were from parents with concerns about their child.

Incidents included both recent and non-recent abuse with adults abused as children telling the helpline that they felt they could not report it at the time or they tried to but weren’t listened to. In other cases, adults witnessed incidents but didn’t act on it.

Some told the helpline they were accused of inviting unwanted attention while others were discouraged from taking action out of fear it would ruin their education and life prospects.

Sandra Robinson, NSPCC Helpline Manager, said: “We’ve heard about hundreds of incidents of pervasive peer-on-peer sexual abuse and sadly we know there are likely to be many more that have gone unreported.

“Contacts to the helpline paint a striking picture of the devastating and lasting consequences peer-on-peer sexual abuse can have on young people and how it can be exacerbated if safeguarding incidents aren’t handled correctly.

“For some pupils, returning to schools this week means facing their abusers again but they don’t have to do this alone. Our helpline is a safe space for children, teachers or parents to report recent or non-recent abuse and provide support to help them recover,” she added.

The government is encouraging teachers to remind their pupils that the NSPCC’s free Report Abuse in Education helpline is still available to them for support and confidential advice.

Children’s minister Vicky Ford said: “As children return to school this September, we want them to feel safe and protected. That’s why we’ve taken steps to remind all schools about the importance of our new mandatory RSHE curriculum, as well as the NSPCC’s dedicated helpline.

“We encourage all individuals who have been a victim of sexual abuse, whether recent or non-recent, to call the helpline so that they can receive the vital support they need,” she concluded.

Working Together For Children

Make an enquiry

A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work, psychological, psychiatric, therapeutic and family support services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
Make an Enquiry

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Specialist residential schools to be investigated by Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel


Three specialist residential schools in Doncaster are to be investigated by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.

Annie Hudson

Fullerton House, Wilsic Hall and Wheatley House specialist, independent residential schools are to be subjected to a national investigation by the Panel following allegations of abuse.

Annie Hudson, Chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, outlined plans [...]

Read Full Story

MPs: Draft Online Safety Bill is not clear or robust enough


The government’s draft Online Safety Bill in its current form is neither clear nor robust enough to tackle certain types of illegal and harmful content on user-to-user and search services, MPs have warned.

The Digital, Culture Media and Sports committee is urging the government to address types of content that are technically legal by [...]

Read Full Story

Trauma Informed Care varies widely across children’s social care


Trauma informed activities rarely lead to evidence-based treatments, a study by the Early Intervention Foundation has found.

Trauma Informed Care practice varied widely across children’s social care services, with no two teams offering the same components, or attending the same training. Furthermore, the study found that TIC activities rarely led to evidence-based treatments but were [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram