Belfast Telegraph

Charity's new campaign aims to warn school pupils about abuse

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

On the same day police and health bosses in Northern Ireland meet to discuss the grooming of vulnerable young people, a children's charity is launching a new campaign to prevent abuse.

The NSPCC's Now I Know campaign, aimed at empowering children to prevent abuse from happening, is focused on putting ChildLine in every primary school in Northern Ireland with visits once every two years to talk to children about abuse, how to protect themselves and where to get help if they need it.

A recent study conducted for the charity by YouGov, which surveyed 1,084 adults in Northern Ireland, showed that only 35% of people taking part in the survey think that, as a primary school age child, they would have been able to recognise abuse if it was happening to them.

Less than 41% say that they would have known who to ask for help if they were being abused when they were aged 9-11, and 83% thought that educating children aged 9 -11 in an age-appropriate way could be a powerful weapon against child abuse. The pioneering ChildLine Schools Service is a major shift towards preventative work designed to equip children with the knowledge they need to act with confidence if they fear abuse.

The service has already visited 23,247 children in 398 primary schools here and has proved very popular with parents and teachers.

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