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Protecting children from sexual abuse

Following on from Child Internet Safety Day (6 Feb) and Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week (5 – 11 Feb), a new child protection campaign has been launched this week by Child Protection Committees Scotland and Barnardo’s Scotland.

The campaign urges the general public to really look, listen and notice signs that all is not well with a child, and take immediate action if they suspect the child might be being sexually abused.

Titled ‘What If You’re Right?’, the digital awareness campaign, features survivor voiceovers in a series of animations, with real life input from adult survivors of sexual abuse across Scotland. The aim of the campaign is to highlight the immediate and long term consequences of child sexual abuse.

The animations will run on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube and on the Child Protection Scotland website.

We will be sharing messaging from this campaign on the Council’s social media channels  – if you are on social media, please help us to share the messages far and wide.

Signs that might indicate abuse

Abuse of children can be physical, emotional and sexual. Children who experience abuse may display behaviour which causes concerns. This could range from being distressed to showing physical signs of abuse.

A child may tell you information about themselves, or others, that causes you concern. It is important to share any concerns so that families can get the help they need.

Sometimes it might be an adult’s behaviour which makes you worry about a child. You might:

  • notice an adult caring for a child when they have been misusing drugs and/or alcohol
  • be concerned about the way an adult behaves towards a child, maybe swearing and frightening the child
  • be aware of violence in households where children live.

All these can have an impact on a child and potentially place them at risk of harm.

Further information on what to do if you think a child is in harm’s way can be found on the Child Protection section of the Council website.

If you live in North Ayrshire and have a concern that a child is suffering from, or at risk from, any harm you should contact:

  • 01294 310300 (Monday to Thursday 9am to 4:45pm and Friday 9am to 4:30pm).
  • out of hours service on 0800 328 7758
  • if the child is in immediate danger contact the police by telephoning 101 or in an emergency 999.
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