Sharon Copsey, Regional Head of Service for the NSPCC in the South West
The NSPCC’s ‘How safe are our children? 2020’ report has revealed the scale of abuse against adolescents for the very first time.
The report showed, compared to younger children, adolescents are twice as likely to be in care, but are less likely to be the subject of a child protection plan or on a child protection register to support them.
It also states that the NSPCC Helpline received an average of 1,066 contacts a month from April to July from adults with concerns that a child or young person was being physically abused – a 53% increase from the pre-lockdown average.
The wide-ranging report shows that, compared to younger children, rates of police-recorded offences against adolescents are:
- Four times higher for physical abuse
- Nine times higher for online grooming offences
- Six times higher for sexual abuse
In the South West, there were almost 1,600 referrals made to agencies in the region, following calls to the NSPCC Helpline with concerns about children of all ages.
To counter the huge impact coronavirus has had on young people, including adolescents, the NSPCC is calling on the Government to quickly introduce a comprehensive recovery plan.
It is crucial children, particularly those who may have suffered abuse, neglect or other traumatic experiences during the lockdown receive the appropriate support.