It can be a daunting prospect to talk to our children about sexual abuse. It isn’t as straightforward as talking to them about crossing roads or dealing with strangers.
But whilst we all hope that our children will never be a victim of such atrocities, we know that sexual abuse does happen.
Police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland recorded over 7,000 sexual offences against children aged four to eight during 2018/19.
This illustrates how important the NSPCC’s Talk PANTS campaign is, as it gives adults advice on how to talk to children in an age appropriate way about sexual abuse, without using any scary words or even mentioning sex.
With our campaign, promoted through our popular dinosaur character Pantosaurus, we teach young children that: Privates are private; Always remember your body belongs to you; No means no; Talk about secrets that upset you; and Speak up, someone can help.
The campaign helps to reinforce key lessons about abuse that will be compulsory for all primary schools in England, as part of Relationships Education. Although the new curriculum was originally planned for mandatory roll-out from September, it has been delayed to ensure schools can embed it correctly by the summer-term of 2021.
Until this new curriculum is rolled out, there has never been a better time to Talk PANTS.
From Emma Motherwell, NSPCC Campaign Manager