Hundreds trained in Dorset to support child sex abuse victims

Hundreds trained in Dorset to support child sex abuse victims

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 13th July 2019.

Staff in schools, nurseries and hospitals are being taught to spot the signs of sexual abuse.

  • It's part of a scheme to help children and young people make disclosures safely.
  • The NSPCC PANTS dinosaur has also been helping children learn about appropriate relationships.
  • The training's been given extra funding by the Police and Crime Commissioner. 

They're also learning how to support children so they can make disclosures safely.

So far over 240 have taken part in the training across the education, health and charity sectors.

A school pastoral care worker said:

"It has made me more aware of the embedded impact of trauma and how child sexual abuse affects victims and survivors throughout their lives."

One healthcare worker said:

"I started doing outreach work and was nervous about this subject, but the training has really boosted my confidence."

Dorset's year long safeguarding campaign 

It's part of a scheme by the Local Safeguarding Children Boards, funded by the Police and Crime Comissioner.

Last year they kicked off the scheme with similar workshops, which were extended after staff asked for more.

Helping children talk about sexual abuse with PANTS.

The PANTS dinosaur helps children learn and remember how to stay safe
The PANTS dinosaur helps children learn and remember how to stay safe

The training's run alongside an NSPCC campaign to raise awareness of child sexual abuse using their animated mascot, Pantasaurus.

The PANTS campaign teaches children via an acronym:

  • P - Privates are private
  • A - Always remember your body belongs to you
  • N - No means no
  • T - Talk about secrets that upset you
  • S - Speak up, someone can help

They're encouraging parents and staff to have age-appropriate conversations with children.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said:

"Child sexual abuse is something we all need to be aware of, and this work has provided hundreds of frontline workers with specialist knowledge about what to look out for and how to support young people and their families."

Sue Jones, LSCB project lead, said:

"The Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Project has had a significant impact across the whole of Dorset. The active participation of so many practitioners from a vast array of services has been incredible in spreading the messages that child sexual abuse is largely preventable if children are made aware of how to keep themselves safe from an early age, in a fun, age appropriate and memorable way.