Neglect Can Happen to 'Any Child in Any School in Any Area' DO MORE TO STOP THE ABUSE BEFORE IT STARTS, SAYS NSPCC

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Byline: ABBIE WIGHTWICK abbie.wightwick@walesonline.co.uk

CHILD abuse could be reduced dramatically if more is done to stop it before it starts, the new head of the NSPCC said last night.

The claim from Peter Wanless came as the children's charity launched its "Now I Know" campaign asking for ChildLine to be installed in every primary school in Wales.

The NSPCC, which runs ChildLine, also wants to go into all 1,556 primaries in Wales every two years to talk to children about abuse so they can recognise the signs, protect themselves and know where to get help.

At the moment too many cases come to light only when victims are teenagers, Natalie Evans, ChildLine schools service coordinator for South Wales, warned.

She said neglect, one form of abuse, was widespread.

"From what I have seen going into schools I think neglect is a much bigger problem than people realise," she said. "It can happen to any child in any school in any area."

The ChildLine Schools Service, which has been running in Wales for two years, is part of a major shift by the charity towards preventative work to help children know what to do if they think abuse may or is happening.

NSPCC's new chief executive Peter Wanless, who wants ChildLine in all UK primaries, said: "People in this country do not want to tolerate child abuse.

"We no longer need to convince them of the suffering it leads to, or the costs to future lives - Jimmy Savile's crimes are one shocking illustration of the consequences when people do not speak up and are not heard, for whatever reason.

"But we must now inspire everyone to believe that such horrors can be prevented and that they can help."

At least two children in every primary classroom has suffered some form of abuse or neglect, the charity claims. …