Cambridgeshire: Kids Learn About Abuse

ChildLine are launching a new service teaching children in Cambridgeshire about what abuse is, and how they can stay safe.

The ChildLine Schools Service will be going into Cambridgeshire's 220 primary schools, hoping to reach 47,200 pupils aged 9 to 11 year olds.

The children's charity needs around 60 volunteers to help them deliver special assemblies and workshops.

NSPCC research shows that an average of two children in every primary school classroom has suffered from abuse or neglect and the majority of cases go undetected.

Lucy Howell from ChildLine told Heart: 'Children who suffer abuse often don't recognise what is happening to them is abusive, which is why we need to help them to understand and recognise what is ok and what's not normal behaviour and through this programme we aim to empower them to seek help if they need it.

'The Schools Service does this in a really sensitive and age appropriate way, so the sessions are specificially tailored to the age group to ensure the topics are covered in a way that the children can understand, without being too graphic.

'For example, we have a body map, so we help children to identify feelings associated with being unsafe and vulnerable, so we get them to think about the people and things that make them feel safe and who could help them if they do feel vulnerable.'
Esther Rantzen, Founder and President of ChildLine, adds: 'It is so important that children are encouraged to ask for help if they are in distress, and that they know ChildLine is there to support them.

'I found it really moving to hear an assembly of children recite our number, 0800 1111, and then watch them having fun learning to express the ChildLine number in sign language. But it's more than just fun.

'As a result of our work so far, we have already found that some young children have been able for the first time to disclose abuse and have been protected from it.'