Reported child abuse figures rising

The latest NSPCC ‘How Safe are our Children‘ report (June 2015) has revealed lots of new figures.  Whilst at first glance these child abuse figures may appear shocking (and they are!), it’s important that we keep a balance.

What do I mean by that?  Well, take a look at a few extracts from the report, these are specifically to do with child sexual abuse:

31,000 offences recorded in the year up to April 2014 This is up 8,500 on the previous year. 85 offences were recorded by police every day. Most of the victims were aged between 12 and 16 But 8,282 were younger than 11. 2,895 were estimated to be aged five or under.

The number of ‘recorded’ sexual offences  against children has risen by a third on the previous year, and that’s the important point – recorded.  There are no figures to suggest that there has been an increase in offences.  Now don’t get me wrong, one child being harmed is completely unacceptable, but the point I’m trying to make is that some media reporting is trying to paint a picture worse than it actually is.  The fact of the matter is that increased confidence in the public means that historic victims are coming forward; better education in schools means that children have much better information; big national campaigns are raising the awareness significantly; and of course police investigation and recording is better than it has ever been.

All of this is suggesting that actual crimes are now in a decline, not rising, which is fantastic if true, and that more and more people are coming forward to report crimes, which again is great news.

But, we should never be complacent.  Even if there is a decline we still need to be working hard to further reduce any crime against children.  That goes for us parents/carers, educators, police, and in particular the government to ensure there are budgets and resources in place.

For parents and children the first line of defence is always education, and you can see more helpful advice HERE.

Further reading:
The Daily Telegraph – Soaring child sex crimes are not matched by conviction rates.
BBC News – Reports of child abuse rising sharply.