Hot off the heels of its latest report on the state of child protection in the UK, the NSPCC is asking the government to launch a UK wide, in depth study looking at current levels of child abuse.

The call comes after its report highlighted a significant increase in the reporting of different types of child abuse, but a less clear picture on what this means about the prevalence, origins and motivations behind these abuses.

The key findings are added below:

  • In recent years there has been an increase in emotional abuse as a reason for children being on a child protection plan or register in England and Wales, and increasing numbers of contacts to the NSPCC helpline about the issue.
  • There has been an increase in public reporting of child abuse. In 2016/17 the NSPCC helpline responded to its highest ever number of contacts.
  • There have also been increases in police-recorded child sexual offences and indecent image offences across the UK and increases in child cruelty and neglect offences in all UK nations except Scotland.
  • The last decade has also seen increased numbers of children on child protection plans and registers and increased numbers of looked after children in the UK.
  • But, without a new survey of child maltreatment prevalence we lack a clear picture of the extent of child abuse and neglect today. That’s why we are calling on the UK Government to commission a new UK-wide study.

The table of contents is also interesting:

  1. Child homicides recorded by police includes the offences of murder, manslaughter and infanticide
  2. Child mortality deaths by assault, neglect and undetermined intent
  3. Child suicides
  4. Number of recorded sexual offences against children
  5. Number of recorded cruelty and neglect offences 
  6. Self-reported prevalence of abuse and neglect
  7. Counselling sessions with Childline
  8. Contacts with the NSPCC helpline
  9. Online harm 
  10. Violent incidents experienced by 10 to 15 year olds Crime survey for England and Wales
  11. Crime survey for England and Wales: Experiences of abuse in childhood
  12. Referrals to social services
  13. Children in need
  14. Children in the child protection system
  15. Composition of child protection plans and child protection registers 
  16. Re-registration onto child protection registers or returning to a child protection plan
  17. How long are children subject to child protection plans or on child protection registers
  18. Looked after children 
  19. Proportion of looked after children who have three or more placements during the year
  20. Child trafficking
  21. Public attitudes to child abuse and neglect
  22. Glossary

Whilst some of this data is not new, many of the stats are still shocking. We have yet to read this report in full, but in the meantime do let us know what you think.

Many thanks to Jonny Matthew for sharing this report on Twitter, which is where we found it.

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