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Reports of children sexually abusing other children doubled in the two years toaccording to police figures obtained by BBC Panorama. The programme has followed up on research fromwhen police recorded almost 8, reports of abuse among unders in England and Wales. Yearly reports have risen to between 15, and 16, but cases fell in during the pandemic. And overall, a big majority of cases involved boys abusing girls. Thirty-four of the 43 police forces in England and Wales responded to Freedom of Information requests asking for the of sexual offences reports, including rape and sexual assault, where both the alleged perpetrator and victim were under The figures did not include the online offence of non-consensual sharing of private sexual images or videos.
The Labour MP and former teacher, Emma Hardy, said: "I still think that those figures might be an underestimation of the extent of the problem, because not all cases ended up going to the police. Not all things are reported. Dr Rebekah Eglinton, chief psychologist for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, said unwanted touching, as well as being pressured into sharing nude photos, had become a part of everyday life for children "to the point where they wouldn't bother reporting it". Figures collated from the FOI responses of 38 police forces between April and March showed there were 7, reports of sexual abuse among children.
Two years later, inthe of reports had doubled to 16, In the latest full year of data,some 10, reports of abuse were made, despite months of lockdown and closed schools due to the Covid pandemic. Analysis of the new figures shows about nine in 10 of the alleged abusers were boys. And the abuse was carried out on girls in about eight in 10 cases. He would ask if we could have sex, and I would always say no, but he would just end up just touching me anyway," she says. I started crying at that point, I think it felt like I had no space.
She began self-harming, but she didn't want to tell her parents or her teachers about the abuse. I just thought I was the one to blame, they would just get very angry with me and they wouldn't understand," she says. Eventually, she told her teachers what had been happening. She says they did not inform the police or her parents, and said she and the boy should meet to apologise to each other. The meeting itself included just one teacher and she just kind of like said, 'Oh you know, just talk about your feelings and just work things out between you two.
Danielle has since told her parents and left the school. The new figures come a year after the website Everyone's Invited was set up as a place where survivors could post anonymous s of abuse they say they had suffered.
The website has now collected more than 50, testimonies. Soma Sara, who set up the project, told BBC Panorama: "I think there is a lack of understanding of the kind of impact of this kind of behaviour, even the smaller transgressions of sexual bullying and harassment that happens to young people. They are traumatising, and especially when they perpetrated over a long period of time. The charity says it has been contacted times since its launch. Conversations around boundaries and consent will depend on many things, including how old and mature the child is, says the children's charity, the NSPCC.
But they have a few tips to make conversations easier:. In June, the education watchdog Ofsted found that sexual harassment has become "normalised" among school-age children. It found that girls in particular were frustrated that there was not clear teaching about what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. And many teachers said they lacked knowledge on topics such as consent, healthy relationships and sharing of sexual images.
Last year the government introduced a new mandatory curriculum for England, covering topics like sexting and porn. Grace Academy in Solihull runs a project in conjunction with a charity in an effort to stop problems arising, and has set up schemes to address potentially harmful sexual attitudes and behaviour at the school before it starts. This includes a campaign to call out sexual bullying, and pupils can scan a code on their phone to report abuse anonymously. But head teacher Darren Gelder said schools can only do so much: "We do seem to be becoming the point of call really for a very, very wide and varied range of societal challenges that have come at the door of schools.
Children's minister Vicky Ford told Panorama that schools were very clear about the government's safeguarding guidance, saying training was available and the government would be rolling out extra support to deate safeguarding le in another schools.
She said: "We've strengthened [guidance] every year, specific advice on keeping children safe and education from sexual abuse. She added the government had also set up partnerships so that schools can work together with police, health authorities and social services on safeguarding issues.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, teacher guidance on abuse between pupils is less comprehensive than in England.
The Welsh government said it had issued guidance to support schools in creating a safe learning environment for children. The Scottish government said it was working with charities Rape Crisis Scotland and Zero Tolerance to pilot a new approach to tackling gender-based violence in schools.
In Northern Ireland, a spokesman from the Department of Education said they had been "engaging with other UK jurisdictions on actions being taken in response to the Everyone's Invited website and is currently considering… what specific action is required. If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues in this article, information and support is available via the BBC Action Line. Girls asked for nudes by 11 boys a night - Ofsted. New tool for unders to stop nude images online. Image source, Getty Images. Girls asked for nudes by 11 boys a night - Ofsted Sexual assault at school: 'I still feel unsafe' New tool for unders to stop nude images online.
Tips for starting a conversation with your. Pick a time when your child's relaxed, not too tired, and when there aren't other people in your family around. You could also choose a neutral place, like on a walk or in the car Listen openly and non-judgementally - and reassure them that they can tell you anything they need to and you won't blame them in any way Explain that consent both online and offline means actively saying yes, using both words and body language Explain that they should always get consent from the other person for any type of sexual activity, and those involved have the right to change their mind at any time Remember - children under 13 cannot legally consent to any type of sexual activity Try to have realistic expectations - think regular, shorter conversations rather than trying to cover everything at once.
And it might not go as well as you're hoping, but give it time as they might restart the conversation a few days later If discloses abuse off the back of a conversation, it's important to let them know it's not their fault, that they've done the right thing by telling you and that you'll take them seriously. Explain to them what you'll do next and report it as soon as possible to the NSPCC helpline or police so the details are fresh in your mind and action can be taken quickly. Related Topics. More on this story. Published 10 June.
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