Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week – #itsnotok
Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week (which was 5th – 11th February in 2018).
The intention behind this annual campaign is to raise awareness of this often secret subject that can be difficult for victims to talk about and in turn to receive the support that they deserve and need.
Why this awareness week matters
THE BLOG By Emily Jacob
Talk To The Teens In Your LIfe
As a Relationship and Sexuality course facilitator in a previous job, I know how important it is to talk openly and freely with young people about sexual abuse. (You might find the Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week a useful platform to bring this sensitive matter up.) However, it can be a very difficult subject to attempt to engage the young people in your life with. Sometimes it’s difficult enough just to know where to start with such a sensitive matter. So if you are looking for some tips to open up the communication with a teen around sexual abuse then here are some ideas from Rainn:
- Use the media to make it relevant
- Use your own experience to tell a safety story
- Talk about caring for friends
- Talk about sexual abuse directly
It’s crucial that children and young people understand what sexual abuse looks like and what their rights and responsibilities are. Here is Childline’s definition:
The NSPCC has some very helpful definitions of the different types of sexual abuse that a child might experience:
Signs of Abuse – What The NSPCC Advise To Look for
What To Do If You Suspect A Child Is Experiencing Abuse
If you suspect that a child or young person is in immediate danger then the advice is always to call the police – 999.
There are also dedicated helplines for reporting specific types of abuse.
What should you expect when you report a case of child abuse?
When you report abuse there is a duty of care for the information to be shared with other agencies if a child is likely to be at risk or harm is suspected. However, you do not have to give your name and you can ask for your name not to be passed on to the police or social work services. Reporting abuse of any kind can be distressing and can lead to feelings of uncertainty and worry. Please be assured that there is lots of support and advice out there should you find yourself in this difficult position.
‘Remember that you should listen to what children say and take it seriously. It’s important you believe them.’ (Childline)