TOGETHER, we can tackle child abuse – the clear message from Warwickshire County Council.
The county council is supporting a government campaign to tackle child abuse by joining with other councils throughout the UK to raise awareness through the campaign ‘Together, we can Tackle Child Abuse’ which aims to encourage people to report any concerns over children as soon as possible.
To support the message, the council will be sharing a series of ‘myth busters’ on social media to discredit ideas which may prevent people reporting possible cases.
And the campaign will also highlight signs of abuse such as poor hygiene, tiredness and aggressive behaviour among youngsters.
County children’s spokesman Coun Dave Parsons said: “Abuse takes on many different forms and may not necessarily be physical; it may be verbal or emotional or neglect.
“It’s really important that Warwickshire residents act if they suspect something is wrong.”
The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the first point of contact for anyone in Warwickshire needing to report suspected child abuse.
MASH provides a range of support agencies including the county council, police and health authorities in order to share information and enable swift action to protect vulnerable youngsters. Callers will have the option to remain anonymous and reporting will not mean that a child is automatically taken into care.
It comes after new NSPCC figures revealed the number of reported child abuse cases in Warwickshire rose to 538 in the past year- up 75 on the previous 12 months. The children’s charity believe factors such as social media, improved recording methods and survivors feeling more confident in disclosing abuses could explain the rise.
Last year 400,000 children in England were supported after someone reported a concern.
Warwickshire’s health spokesman Les Caborn added: “All children have a right to be safe and protected and everyone can play a role in making this happen. You don’t have to be absolutely certain about whether a child is being abused; if you have a feeling that something’s not right, report it.”
Call MASH on 01926 414144 or anyone suspecting a child is in immediate danger should call police on 999.
Visit /tacklechildabuse.campaign.gov.uk for more information on the campaign and http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/mash for more details on MASH.