MP's plan to prevent child abuse

MP SARAH Champion has produced an action plan in the hope of preventing child abuse, which she claimed is being treated as “inevitable”.

The shadow minister for women and equalities has produced the document as part of her Dare2Care campaign.

It calls for parents, teachers and authorities to work together to prevent abuse and violence against children across the country.

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Ms Champion said: “There seems to be an acceptance in our society that child abuse is inevitable. I absolutely disagree with that.

“One child in every primary school class will experience sexual abuse and more than 57,000 children are currently identified as needing protection from abuse in the UK.

“I won’t rest until all children can grow up without fear of abuse.”

The action plan covers four areas - early years and parenting; online abuse; violence and pornography in teenage relationships and resilience and relationships education.

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Ms Champion worked with survivors of abuse, academics and charities for 18 months before launching the action plan at Westminster on Tuesday.

She added: “It’s only through education and working together that we can ensure no child grows up in fear.

“The action plan has literally come out of frustration that child abuse in Rotherham is inevitable and people look to blame the police and social workers but what if it’s not inevitable?”

In the plan, the MP called for the government to introduce compulsory, age-appropriate relationship education in every school for children from the age of five-years-old until the end of compulsory education.

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She also called for a state-funded campaign on spotting the signs of abuse, a review of how social workers deal with parents and improved training for teachers including on the possible dangers the Internet poses to children.

Ms Champion said she hoped to get the action plan included in an education bill which is currently being passed through parliament.

She added: “I have been really surprised with the amount of cross-party support I’ve had. But the scary thing is the number of MPs who have experiences of what we have had in Rotherham in their constituencies.

“I’ve always said I didn’t want it to be about politics and I think everybody recognises that.”