The NSPCC – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – has long sought to protect children from violence and abuse in the UK.
The NSPCC campaigns for legislative change through government, lobbying policy and decision-makers and raising public awareness of problems via high profile campaigning. It is the NSPCC that provides the confidential telephone service Childline, and another anonymous reporting service for anyone concerned about a child. The NSPCC also offers online counselling and local support centres for families that are struggling.
The NSPCC has been fortunate to have the creative input of Ajab Samrai in some of its most powerful advertising campaigns to highlight child abuse.
Preventing child abuse requires a multi-faceted approach. The NSPCC works within the community with vulnerable youngsters and families to educate and help keep children safe and is involved with partner organisations such as social services.
Child abuse can be hidden and hard to detect. Children find it difficult to understand what is happening to them and may not be able to easily vocalise their worries. Abusers isolate children and create a culture of shame and disbelief, discouraging them from confiding in an appropriate adult. The NSPCC offers guidance and training on how to spot signs of hidden abuse and neglect. It could be as subtle as an alteration in behaviour; many abusers do not leave any physical evidence.
The NSPCC partners with the National Association for People Abused in Childhood. This organisation is specifically geared towards helping adults deal with the aftermath of physical and emotional abuse suffered as a child.
Support for New Parents
Vulnerable parents who are not equipped to deal with the stress of a new arrival can create a tinderbox situation in the home. Research by the NSPCC showed that support was sporadic and depended on geography. This data was used to inform government policy following which the Health Minister announced plans to implement the training and placement of a midwife specialising in mental health issues UK wide by 2017.
Keeping Children Safe on the Internet
Online safety is a fresh challenge. The NSPCC runs safety workshops for parents and offers access to free advice in partnership with O2. Helping children to use the internet safely is about enabling parents to implement correct safeguarding procedures in the home.
Making Courts Child-Friendly
Research showed that for some victims of abuse, the court process was more terrifying than the actual abuse it sought to remedy. The NSPCC petitioned for change and now vulnerable children and young people can pre-record their evidence rather than appear in person.
These are just some of the ways the NSPCC champions the cause of children in the UK.