As child sex offences rise in Norfolk new initiative will see cartoon dinosaurs help parents tackle abuse
PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 October 2018
The number of sex offences recorded against children aged four to eight in Norfolk has more than doubled.
In 2016/17 there were 177 sex crimes recorded by Norfolk Police against young children aged four to eight, up from 80 in 2015/16, a 121pc rise.
The figures, gathered by the NSPCC through a Freedom of Information request, come as the charity relaunches their Talk PANTS campaign this half-term.
Talk PANTS helps parents with children aged eight and under to have the vital conversation about staying safe from sexual abuse, by teaching them important messages such as their privates are private.
In England and Wales 6,613 sexual offences against children aged four to eight were recorded in 2016/17, according to police figures.
There was also a 13pc increase from the previous year where police data allowed an annual comparison.
Research conducted by the NSPCC found many parents were worried that talking to their young children about sexual abuse would be scary and confusing.
To combat the issue the NSPCC has created a song and activity pack – with cartoon dinosaur Pantosaurus – which don’t mention the words sex or abuse so it is easier for parents to tackle the subject.
Donna-Marie Wright, a mum to seven children, a passionate supporter of the NSPCC’s Talk PANTS campaign, said: “I think Talk PANTS is a brilliant concept because having been abused myself as a child, I wanted to talk to my children about staying safe from sexual abuse, especially the younger ones because they don’t really understand.
“It’s a fun way to engage the kids, and the PANTS activities are done in a non-invasive way – there is no talk of sex. As soon as they are old enough to understand, it is a conversation all parents should have with their children.”
Peter Wanless, chief executive officer of the NSPCC, said: “We know that lots of parents have already used Talk PANTS to speak to their children about the dangers they may face from sexual abuse as they grow up, both in the online and offline world.
“However, the figures we have revealed today show that we all need to do more to help young children learn how to stay safe from sexual abuse, these conversations should be as normal as teaching them to cross the road.”