Why no child should suffer

Seeing as today has been entirely taken up by arranging media interviews for the NSPCC’s ‘Don’t wait until you’re certain’ campaign launch tomorrow it makes sense for today’s post to touch on the importance of tackling child abuse. Before I continue, I should make it quite clear that whilst I work for the NSPCC all views expressed on this blog are entirely my own.

As a child of the eighties I was distressed to hear the allegations against Jimmy Savile when they first came to light at the end of last year. I remember writing numerous letters to Jim’ll Fix It when I was about ten years old, asking him to fix it for me to meet Kylie and Jason. At the time I was distraught not to be chosen but now I, like many others, am left feeling that I had a lucky escape.

Sadly the abuse of children by adults in positions of trust is not a phenomenon that died with Savile. It’s true that as a result of the media furore hundreds have come forward about abuse they suffered at the hands of Savile and other celebrities many years ago, but it’s important to acknowledge that child abuse is as much a problem today as it was back then, it’s just that nowadays it’s harder for paedophiles to operate as flagrantly.

Every single day children across the UK are subjected to horrendous abuse at the hands of adults who are meant to be their protectors. What’s scary is these aren’t celebrities, but normal people like you or me. Or at least that’s how they appear. Can you imagine what it must feel like to be one of those children? Confusing, distressing and painful don’t even begin to cover it.

The longer abuse is allowed to continue the greater the risk to the child, not only in a physical sense but also a mental one – because mental scars take far longer to heal than physical ones. This is why the NSPCC is taking its ‘Don’t wait until you’re certain’ film to a wider audience as a television advert, starting tomorrow.

Critics may scoff and say the charity is encouraging false allegations, but in my opinion if one child is saved from a childhood of torture – and, let’s face it, that’s exactly what child abuse is – because someone sees the advert and takes action on their behalf then it will have been a success.

The bottom line is that no child should have to suffer from abuse. The recent media coverage has felt gratuitous at times but it has brought child abuse into the spotlight, and until we stamp out child abuse once and for all that’s exactly where it needs to stay.

Image

For this post I thought I’d share a pic of me when I was a baby, taken at a fair with my wonderful mother. I had a fantastic childhood filled with love, laughter and security, despite my parents divorcing when I was little. It makes me so sad to think of all the thousands of children who aren’t so lucky.

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