We Have to Do More to Stop Child Sex Abuse; All-Wales Strategy Can Help Protect Youngsters

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Byline: KELLY WILLIAMS

MORE youngsters could be protected from sexual harm if better strategies were in place, an organisation has said today.

Research published by Stop It Now! Wales suggests a coordinated approach, led by the Welsh Government, could help keep children safe.

The findings came from in-depth interviews with more than 100 individuals across Wales including youths, victims of sexual abuse, abusers themselves as well as parents, carers, the police, social workers and education professionals. The pressure group says an all-Wales strategy on child sexual abuse prevention would increase public awareness of the scale, nature and consequences of child sexual abuse. It would also help with its work with all priority target groups, increase the long term effectiveness and impact of work currently on-going, and address the shortage in services and resources required to achieve prevention before sexual abuse occurs.

It could also ensure all aspect of prevention activities are evaluated in order to inform future developments.

Gwenda Thomas, deputy minister for children and social services, said: "It is vital that all those who care for children are alert to the signs of abuse and that they know where they can seek help and advice. Fear and uncertainty can, so often, stop people from taking action to prevent abuse in the first instance and we need to instil people with the confidence to speak out. …