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.
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.