The terrible situation in Japan continues to dominate the news. However, a news story has broken today that concerns every parent. An investigation led by the UK’s National Centre for Child Protection has ‘smashed’ a large global paedophile network (link to the story is)
It is just not about child sex tourism and paedophiles traveling to poorer countries and exploiting children already vulnerable because they live in poverty. It is also about children in the UK being exploited and abused by people they know, people who are in positions of trust.
The scale of todays story is shocking but also the roles of those arrested; youth leaders, teachers and police officers. The threat of sexual abuse to children is less from a paedophile living in the community, although the media make much of our need for access to information on where people are living. The threat is from people in positions of trust, people you know, not strangers. It is a desperate fact that many paedophiles recognise their sexual interest in children and make career choices based on that and make relationships within families and with families in order to access children. Children are groomed and trust their abusers in a process that takes time.
The NSPCC provide excellent information and there is a linkto their page from which you can download a leaflet, they say it much better than I ever could and it’s information that every parent should read.
To quote the NSPCC
“Most important of all
Teach your child they have the right to refuse to do anything they feel is wrong or that frightens them. Stress that they should not hesitate to tell you or another adult if something happens that they don’t like.”
From the NSPCC leaflet Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse a guide for parents and carers.
Of course it is important that children do develop trusting relationships with adults and to remember that an abuser is not around every corner and most children grow up safely, but as parents we should have the knowledge in order to equip our children and do our upmost to protect them.