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NSPCC campaign to get families talking to children about sexual abuse relaunched

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After piloting it in Stoke-on-Trent last year, the NSPCC has relaunched a campaign urging parents to speak to their children about abuse.

PANTS aims to help teachers, parents and carers share simple but vital messages with children aged four to 11 about staying safe.

In January last year a PANTS campaign took place in Stoke-on-Trent, as part of a partnership that sees a range of organisations join together to prevent child sexual abuse.

Together for Childhood, which operates in Chell, Chell Heath and Fegg Hayes, aims to provide help and support for children and their families at the earliest possible stage and at a community level to prevent sexual abuse, and sees the NSPCC joining in a partnership with the City Council, Staffordshire Police, NHS trusts, community groups, and schools.

The campaign was supported by Port Vale, with the NSPCC spreading key PANTS messages to fans at their home game against Macclesfield last season.

Now, the charity is again urging parents with children aged 4-8 years to have early and ongoing conversations that can help protect them from abuse - as the Government has allowed for a more gradual roll-out of the new Relationships Education curriculum until summer 2021.

So far, the NSPCC has helped to make over 950,000 children safer through their Talk PANTS campaign and with all children now at home for the summer holidays, the charity is encouraging all parents to start the conversation however uncomfortable it may be at first.

Ally Sultana, Local Campaigns Manager at the NSPCC said: “PANTS is helping to start difficult, but vital conversations from a young age about sexual abuse and all children’s right to safety. 

“Our work in Stoke-on-Trent last year showed how important the campaign is, and a range of families have told us they are now using the PANTS resources and messages to have these conversations with their children.

“We think it’s really important that these conversations continue even after schools return and Relationships Education is rolled-out. Supporting this learning in the home is so important for ensuring children receive consistent messages on what constitutes abuse and how to speak out and get support.”

The NSPCC has campaigned for compulsory Relationships Education in primary schools, as well as Sex Education in secondary schools, and is encouraging schools to begin rolling it out from September.

The charity wants to see key messages about healthy relationships and consent repeated throughout school life so that all children know they have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and that abuse is never the fault of victims.

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