Chances are that if you have a child approaching their 'tweens' they will soon be clamouring for a) a mobile phone b) a social media account c) a games console - all of which could enable them to chat to complete strangers anywhere in the world. The days of a family PC in the corner of the living room are long gone.
We know porn can be a difficult subject to talk about but young children have easy access to it - long gone are the days when this material was confined to the top-shelf of a newsagents. Children who are trying to learn about sex and relationships can access unlimited porn online, for free, 24 hours a day.
Since the sickening crimes of Jimmy Savile were revealed in October 2012 the NSPCC helpline has received an unprecedented number of calls from adults talking about non-recent abuse. Over 4500 courageous adults have contacted our practitioners over the past two years, to report concerns and to get advice - over 30 per cent of these cases have been so serious that they have had to be referred to the police.
If we are going to protect children from sexual abuse we must make sure that anyone who recognises they have a problem, and want help to make sure they don't harm a child, is supported in getting treatment. I don't think you can 'cure' someone of paedophilia but you can use therapy to help them control their urges.
Whether or not there are more papers to be found, I would encourage anyone with further information about past child abuse crimes to come forward. If your testimony can bring child abusers to justice and better protect children today, please speak up. Now is the time.... History will go on repeating itself until we learn one simple lesson - look out for and listen to children. They, in their own way, always tell us what is going on. We must all be ready and willing to take them seriously. In establishing an Inquiry with all necessary powers to get at the truth of what went on in the past, let's not take our eye off the ball for today's children. If you know or suspect abuse of a child please speak up, to us or to the police. Do it now.
Earlier this year a conversation with an MP was the catalyst that led me to realise there was a major flaw in the laws designed to protect children from sexual abuse. The teenage daughter of a constituent had been sent a series of text messages by an older man. The messages had started off innocently enough but then became more sexual in tone...
I well remember my first days in my boarding school - the wolf whistles from the prefects' open windows as we passed in and out of our boarding quarters. Prettier boys were openly rated as desirable. It was in my second term, when I was 13 years old, that I first received a note from a 17-year-old in the school rugby team asking would I meet him for a smoke. This was a euphemism for intended sexual contact.
The five things you need to know on Wednesday 9 July 2014... 1) OPEN UP YOUR 'DIRT BOOKS'! Will we see full disclosure? From the Times: "West...
I think it is time to prioritise child abuse as a public health issue like heart disease, smoking and obesity. These diseases get a high profile in part because they have a cost, not only in human misery but also for the economy. The NSPCC is currently researching the economic costs to the UK of child sexual abuse and it is likely that it will be billions of pounds of year.
There is a sad and recurrent theme in many of the worst child abuse scandals - of a child's voice not having been heard. Poor Daniel Pelka, seen looking through bins for food at his school but whose suffering at the hands of his mother and partner was not discovered until it was tragically too late...
How about a resolution that will change other people's lives and yours too? ChildLine is urgently seeking volunteers to go into schools to talk directly with nine-11-year-old children about different forms of abuse and about staying safe. You don't need any previous experience and you will be given first class training and support.