Should child abuse be taught about in schools?
1 expert and 5 parents have answered
Not sure about this initiative. I think it is critically important that children that have been or are being abused know that there are people out there ready, willing and able to help.
I am not sure though that we should expose every child to this awful reality. I thought that the whole point of having counsellors at schools was to identify children who are behaving abnormally (i.e. outside of the norm of accepted behaviors) and help them address their issue. This still seems to me a more effective, intelligent and tactful way to address these issues.
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I agree with Francesco. I want those that need help to get help ASAP but I want kids who aren't suffering abuse to be protected from this awful knowledge for as long as possible. Knowing about this horrible dark side to life sits heavily with me, and I worry about it a lot, so I dread to think how much it would upset children - who can't do anything about it.
I am adamantly against my children having these sessions in school.
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Teaching children of all ages not to accept anything that is happening to them that they don't like or feel uncomfortable with is essential. Schools don't need to call this child abuse class but just general social awareness. We do not need to give graphic details or expose kids to frightening stories. Just make them aware that they have the human right to feel safe and happy and that there are always people to listen and explain anything they don't understand. Call it a child safety class and there is a danger parents will exclude their child like Religious education or sex education classes. I fully support making kids aware from a very young age that there is always someone who will listen and that they should feel happy and safe and secrets are a bad thing.
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Well, the NSPCC and ChildLine certainly think so. Volunteers from the charity are going to start visiting every primary school in the UK every couple of years to teach kids about abuse.
As part of a new campaign – fuelled, no doubt, by the allegations surrounding TV personalities starting with Jimmy Saville – hopes to reach the two children in every classroom who, on average, has been abused, whilst making their classmates aware of the problem.
It's easy to see how there could be both positive and negative reactions to this. On the one hand, I'm sure there are parents who (and this totally makes sense) want to keep their children's innocence for as long as possible. Why expose them to horrific things like child abuse when they could live without a care in the world for a few years more?
On the other hand... well, as the article above says, it's a problem that's frightening both in how widespread it is and how infrequently it's reported. If kids are equipped with a little more information on both what abuse is and how to stop it – and in an 'age appropriate way' – seems like a very good thing. What do you guys think?
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As part of my work with schools and in a Safeguarding Unit, I have had the opportunity to attend one of the NSPCC sessions, and I have to say that I wholeheartedly support them.
The tragic facts are that children often don't disclose that they are being abused for a number of reasons (a very good summary is available here: http://www.projecteve.com/7-reasons-children-dont-disclose-abuse/), and one of the biggest reasons is that they often don't recognise what is happening to them actually is abuse.
It is obviously important not to scare children, or to panic and confuse them, but these sessions are aimed at the 10/11 year-old students, and the language and examples are age appropriate. The key message being that different types of abuse are "not okay".
And while most schools staff are knowledgeable about spotting the signs of abuse, the simple truth is that children have different levels of resilience, and some are extremely adept at hiding these signs, even from experienced professionals. Some of the worst cases of abuse are only uncovered when children have got the courage and confidence to tell someone what is happening to them. This is why children really do need to have some level of understanding about what abuse looks like.