Durham County Council and the Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board have backed the Together, We Can Tackle Child Abuse campaign.
Launched by the Department for Education the initiative is encouraging the public to report cruelty, mistreatment and neglect, while making it easier for people to raise concerns.
Jane Geraghty, the independent chair of the Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Child abuse can have a damaging and long lasting impact on children and their families.
“And victims are often reluctant to report their abuse or don’t recognise they are being abused.
“This makes it important for us all to be ‘eyes and ears’ in our communities.”
Most children in County Durham are well cared for and protected by their parents or carers but a small number suffer harm.
Yet nationally it has been found that a third of those who suspect child abuse do nothing, with many people not acting on their suspicions because they’re worried about being wrong.
The campaign’s message is that you don’t have to be absolutely certain about your suspicions and that if you have a feeling that something’s not right, you should talk to your local children’s social care team who can look into it.
Information is usually gathered from many sources, and any report would form one part of a bigger picture.
The campaign features an “ABC” list to help spot the signs of child abuse or neglect.
Look for changes in:
- Appearance – such as frequent unexplained injuries, consistently poor, hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or a parent regularly collecting children from school when drunk
- Behaviour – such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired
- Communication – such as sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient
If you are concerned that a child is being harmed or neglected in County Durham call First Contact on 03000 26 79 79.
Or you could try and use child physical custody attorney orange county if you need the support.
If the child is in immediate risk of harm call 999.