BREAKING NEWS: London: One-Fifth Of Secondary School Pupils Abused or Neglected: NSPCC

15 Feb

Nearly one in five secondary school children in the UK has been “severely abused or neglected” during childhood, according to the country’s biggest children’s charity.

The NSPCC warned that more than 1 million young people could be suffering abuse Enlarge photo

Abused children ‘in every school’

The NSPCC said its research suggests that almost a million young people in the UK may have suffered physical or sexual abuse.

A survey of 2,275 young people conducted by the charity in 2009 found that 18.6 percent of 11 to 17-year-olds had been physically attacked by an adult, sexually abused, or severely neglected.

Almost seven percent of them had been hit, kicked, beaten or attacked with a weapon, with parents or guardians responsible for more than half of the violence.

One in ten children had suffered “severe parental neglect” at some point in their childhood — defined as a lack of care or supervision which placed the child at risk.

One in four 18 to 24-year-olds — 25.3 percent — also said they had suffered severe maltreatment during childhood, while 10 percent reported being beaten up, knocked down, choked or threatened with a weapon as a child.

NSPCC chief executive Andrew Flanagan said: “Our research gives a fuller and more up-to-date picture of child abuse and neglect than we have ever had before.

Physical violence, neglect and forced sex are still harming the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, and most of it remains unreported.

“Successive governments have taken steps to improve child protection but local authorities are under strain providing child protection plans for only a small proportion of cases.”

The charity said its research showed that childhood abuse and neglect had been falling over the last 30 years.

However it raised concerns that abused children were not getting the help they need from local authorities or communities.

There are currently around 46,000 children of all ages on a local authority child protection plan or register.

Flanagan said: “The scale and impact of child abuse requires a major shift towards earlier intervention in child protection.

“When children do not get the protection and support they need when they most need it, they can be vulnerable to continuing physical or mental harm and further abuse.”

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said an £11.2 million grant will be given to the NSPCC over the next four years for its helpline.

“The specialist support, advice, counselling and information the helpline provides for anyone with concerns about a child who is either being abused or is at risk of being abused is invaluable.”

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