Peter Wanless is the chief executive of the NSPCC, the only charity whose vision is to end cruelty to children in the UK.
He was the Big Lottery Fund's Chief Executive until June 2013 and was previously a Director at the Department of Education in Whitehall.
Peter is married with a 12-year old son, is a Somerset cricket fan and a regular at Welling Utd football club. He was awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List for distinguished public service.
Find out more about the charity’s work and how you can get involved at www.nspcc.org.uk
Imagine discovering that your child had been sent a message by an adult, on social media or through a mobile phone app, asking whether they liked sex or what kind of underwear they were wearing. You'd probably feel a mixture of anger, panic, fear and revulsion. You'd want to take action. You might go straight to the police and tell them what had happened. But the police may not be able to do anything.
There can be few things more distressing for a parent or guardian then when their child becomes so unhappy or upset that they feel compelled to self-harm. It is therefore deeply worrying that more and more children and teenagers in this country are being hospitalised after deliberately hurting themselves.
It essential that we continue to emphasise and support organisational awareness and action, but also help parents and carers act in an informed manner where they can also help encourage good child protection. The NSPCC will also continue its systematic work in schools to help develop a resilience in children that helps them speak out and stay safe.
We take it for granted that the Government has data on everything that's important. But right now, they don't know the number of children in our communities up and down the country who've been abused and need support. As a society, if we don't know exactly how many children are suffering, how can we ensure they are all getting the help they need?
Recent research by the NSPCC found that young people are as likely to see online porn accidentally as search for it, and that repeated viewing can lead them to see porn as realistic. Exposing children to porn at a young age, before they are equipped to cope with it, can be extremely damaging to their developing understanding of sex and relationships.
We have to make sure that all children know that they won't be abandoned to deal with the stresses and strains of life. Wen you know someone is listening, things can and do get better. The first conversation might be the hardest, but plucking up the courage to speak to someone is the first step.
One of the best ways to support young people who may be stressed about their exam results is by listening to them. If they seem worried or anxious it can help if they have someone to confide in and feel that they have an opportunity to discuss whatever is worrying them.
What would you do if you found out that your child had shared a nude selfie with their boyfriend or girlfriend? What if that person had shared it with their friends. If it was shared round the whole school or posted online?
We encourage parents to think carefully before leaving their children at home - at any time. Leaving them unattended could put them at risk of accident or injury - how would they cope if something unexpected happened? It's also a good idea to ask them how they feel about being left alone and talk to them about what to do in an emergency so they feel confident and prepared.
How safe are our children? How happy are their lives? These are the questions that occupy my mind and should be directing decisions and actions taken by politicians, policymakers and public sector workers across the UK
Cleaning up the internet of abuse images and videos - that in the worst cases depict children being raped and tortured - is a global challenge. The significant achievements of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) are crucial in this battle and this week its annual report revealed a staggering 417% increase over two years in the volume of images reported and removed.
We can't pre-empt the Serious Case Review into little Ayeeshia's death but none of us should be satisfied if what we hear are more references to missed opportunities. We must prevent child abuse, not explain it away.
Since the watershed moment when we discovered the extent of the utterly repulsive crimes committed by Jimmy Savile the number of reported sex offences against children has almost doubled. Last year our ChildLine service provided 3,150 counselling sessions- up 10% on the previous twelve months - for children, as young as nine, who had been targets of or were worried about being groomed online.
Abuse or neglect can affect each child differently and there has to be a range of therapeutic services on offer to them. This includes counselling, play-based therapy or family therapy. But there is a scarcity of such programmes across the UK.
Years of hard campaigning have helped create a better environment for them to come forward. Having opened the public's eyes to the persistent levels of sexual assaults on children - over 31,000 recorded by police in England and Wales last year - it would be a travesty if victims are forced back into silence, fearing they will not be believed when they speak up."
For children suffering from the overwhelming and devastating emotional effects of abuse, every second without support can feel like an eternity... We must see improvements in access to child friendly trauma-based support that meet their needs, when they need it, and help them recover wherever they live. Failing to act risks creating a time bomb of mental health problems in the years to come.
13/10/2015 17:01 BST
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