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Dorset safeguarding staff mark the success of the PANTS campaign

Photo of safeguarding staff at Knigston Maurward

Published at 11:20am 15th March 2019. (Updated at 5:25pm 15th March 2019)

Over 50 people in Dorset working to keep children safe are marking the success of the PANTS campaign.

  • As many as 1 in 10 children experience abuse before 18.
  • The NSPCC PANTS campaign teaches parents to talk to their children about relationships in a simple, appropriate way.
  • It's an effort to prevent abuse, not just respond to it.

Teams met at Kingston Maurward College to look to the future and discuss what needs to be done next.

Photo of the PANTS dinosaur, Pantasaurus.
Photo of the PANTS dinosaur, Pantasaurus.

With the help of the PANTS Dinosaur, children can learn about relationships in a simple, age appropriate way.

'As many as 1 in 10'

But, as many as 1 in 10 children will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18, according to the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

Donald Findlater, Director of 'Stop It Now!', a helpline that prevents child sexual abuse.

He said: "Too many children have experienced sexual abuse and they don't need to. If we all play our part in prevention, then they won't."

The project focuses on preventing future abuse as well as on responding to incidents. One of the ways they do this is by educating families about how to talk about issues, and teaching children about appropriate relationships.

There's still more to do

Sarah Elliot, chair of Dorset's Safeguarding Board says the work's far from over.

"As much as anything it's about preventing Child Sexual Abuse."

"How can we make sure it's prevented in the first place?"

"We really need to understand why somebody might become a perpatrator and get all of the agencies working together to think about 'how do we spot those early signs?".

Claire Beare from Dorset Rape Crisis says children find the PANTS campaign really engaging. It's done in an age-appropriate way with a song and a dance.

She said: "They absolutely love it.

"While we're watching the video, I generally take a pair of the paper pants and get them to decorate it. We colour them together, stick things on, stickers.

"That enables me to talk to them about very basic consent."

If you're concerned about the welfare of a child or young person can call the NSPCC helpline for free and confidential advice on 0808 800 5000 or visit nspcc.org.uk

Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk 24/7, 365 days a year, and speak to a counsellor about a worry or concern they may have.

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