Our Safeguarding Children Partnership (OSCP) has launched ‘Speak Out’ – a new safeguarding campaign designed to raise awareness of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in the family environment across Cornwall. The key aim of this campaign is to increase our residents’ understanding of CSA within families and to encourage people to seek help and report concerns to the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU).
The campaign aims to take the responsibility of reporting sexual abuse away from children and young people – they may not be able to say something for a variety of reasons. We will instead ask adults to notice and understand the potential signs of CSA and speak out when they think something’s wrong. Our goal is to protect children and help them begin their recovery.
This campaign is particularly important at a time when social distancing rules mean that more children than ever will be staying at home, sometimes in unsafe environments. With this comes the risk that the signs of sexual abuse may go even further unnoticed and so it is vital that we start to raise awareness of the signs of CSA and clarify how people can report their concerns.
The core campaign messages are:
- Child sexual abuse in the family environment is a hidden crime. Most children and young people who are sexually abused are abused by someone they know.
- With more children at home during the coronavirus pandemic, there is an even greater risk of the signs of sexual abuse going unnoticed.
- Knowing the signs and reporting cases of child sexual abuse is everyone’s responsibility.
- You don’t have to be certain it’s happening. If you’re concerned a child is being abused or their safety is at risk, speak to someone.
- The OSCP and MARU are there to help protect all vulnerable children and young people at risk of abuse.
Although the campaign is focused on helping and protecting children and young people, it is possible that the campaign will also prompt adult survivors of historical CSA to speak out about their experiences.
Please help spread the word around this campaign, using media resources available on the Cornwall Council website, and the hashtag #SpeakOutStopAbuse