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.
If we're serious about improving the mental health of young people, we need a sea change in our approach to monitoring the issue. A prevalence survey once every 14 years simply isn't good enough. It's time to recognise children's mental health as a national asset, and do everything we can to understand, strengthen and protect it.
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.
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.
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.
As a country, we seem to have accepted that child abuse is almost inevitable. We get irate and call for resignations when each prosecution comes to court, but it is always the social worker or police officer to blame, rather than what could have been done to prevent it. Remember that each crime represents a child. The outcomes of abuse can be devastating.