New figures on child abuse

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ALMOST half the sexual assaults against children in Notts are committed by someone they know, according to new NSPCC research published this week.

Figures obtained from Notts Police through the Freedom of Information Act show that in 45 per cent of cases, the offender was related to the victim.

The findings also show that in 42 per cent of cases the offender was known to the victim but not related.

Liz Tinsley, NSPCC Nottingham services manager, urged parents to look for signs of abuse and to talk to their children about the issue.

“There is sometimes the perception that child sex offenders are strangers - sinister figures lurking in the shadows. But the reality is that most victims know their abusers. They are more likely to be a relative, neighbour or family friend rather than someone they have never met before,” she said.

“Every year the lives of thousands of children are ruined by adults who they think they can trust but who sexually abuse them. Many of the victims are threatened or intimidated into silence with some thinking no one will believe them or that their revelations will break-up their family. “

“This means some offenders go unpunished and are at liberty to abuse more youngsters. Understandably, it takes a lot of courage for a child to talk about such awful events but speaking out is key to ending the cycle of abuse and they must have support to do this. We strongly urge children who think they have no one to turn to for advice and support, to contact ChildLine.”

Anyone who would like more information or support should call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.

Alternatively, visit the charity’s website at www.nspcc.org.uk for more details.