Children Urged to Seek Secret Sex Counselling; Anger as Parents Say [Pound]10,000 NHS Campaign Will Drive a Wedge in Family Relations

By Ellis, Rachel | The Mail on Sunday (London, England), July 8, 2001 | Go to article overview

Children Urged to Seek Secret Sex Counselling; Anger as Parents Say [Pound]10,000 NHS Campaign Will Drive a Wedge in Family Relations


Ellis, Rachel, The Mail on Sunday (London, England)


Byline: RACHEL ELLIS

A ROW has broken out over a controversial NHS campaign encouraging children to go behind the backs of their parents and talk to doctors about sex and contraception.

Furious family-values campaigners claim the [pound]10,000 campaign, Have Your Say, will drive a wedge between responsible parents and their children.

Posters, aimed at ten to 16-year-olds, feature a girl who wants to have sex but is worried about disease. Others portray a pregnant girl, a boy abused by his parents and a disabled boy.

The aim is to make adolescents aware they can seek help from a doctor, nurse or health visitor without telling their parents.

But Robert Whelan, director of the pressure group Family and Youth Concern, condemned the initiative.

'This campaign is about separating children from the influence of their parents in terms of sexuality,' he said. 'This is yet another government attempt to undermine the authority of parents.' Up to 25,000 primary and secondary school pupils in London will be targeted with leaflets, and 10,000 posters will be put up in schools, hospitals, GPs' surgeries, youth clubs and libraries.

The campaign, which could be extended nationwide, is the idea of the London Standing Conference for Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors. …

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