Delays in reporting child abuse prompt concerns in local area

THE latest NSPCC figures show that people in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust wait at least a month to report child abuse.

The revelation was made on Friday as the charity launched a new campaign, ‘Don’t wait until you’re certain,’ which urges the public not to ignore that niggling doubt about a child’s safety.

In the last six months, 134 people from Northern Ireland contacted the NSPCC with concerns about a child that were considered so serious they warranted immediate action – 39 of which were from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

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Of those callers from Northern Ireland 28 per cent had waited at least a month with an additional 32 per cent waiting more than six months. The figures come as an exciting new viral campaign, made by Skins and Billy Elliot director Amanda Boyle, is launched in partnership with parents’ website Netmums.

The viral, which mimics a well-known online meme but carries a serious message, will be seeded on YouTube, Netmums, Twitter and Facebook, where supporters will be able to donate their Facebook status to the campaign for a week.

The NSPCC will also be holding a twelve hour ‘day in the life of the helpline’ event on Twitter, with live updates and interviews from 8am until 8pm.

Amanda Boyle, said: “It has been a privilege to work on such an important campaign, which highlights the very real danger of keeping concerns about a child’s safety to yourself. It’s a thought provoking viral film which we hope will engage members of the public and encourage them to contact the NSPCC. The message is simple: If you’re worried about a child, need advice or want to talk, don’t wait until you’re certain.”

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In 2011, a record number of almost 45,000 people across the UK contacted the NSPCC worried about a child.

Anyone who has concerns about a child or wants advice can contact the NSPCC for free 24 hours a day, by calling 0808 800 5000, emailing [email protected], texting 88858 or using an online reporting form. They can choose to remain anonymous if they wish.