The Local Government Association (LGA) – the body providing national political leadership to local councils – has just launched its ambitious “Breaking the Taboo” campaign. The LGA aim to not only train the 1.7 million local government employees to be able to protect children, but to also educate the general public so that they have the knowledge to spot child abuse and respond to it.
This presents a clear difference of opinion between the LGA who believe the “key to tackling abuse lies in raising awareness of the problem, how to spot it and how to respond, not just among childcare professionals but among the wider public…” and the Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson MP, who believes that child protection is solely the remit of professionals who work with children. Continue reading
Chapter 13 of Mary Whitehouse’s 1982 autobiography, “A Most Dangerous Woman” discusses her fight to bring in new legislation to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse. She describes how the Home Office (headed by Merlyn Rees), the Director of Public Prosecutions (Sir Thomas Hetherington), and the Attorney General (Samuel Silkin) showed a “consistent unwillingness to take action”, even after 1.6 million signatures had been gathered from the public. It was only through the use of a Private Member’s Bill by Cyril Townsend MP and the campaigning by Mary Whitehouse and her colleagues that the Protection of Children Act 1978 was passed. More information on the Act is available here. The debate is recorded in Hansard here.
At the same time as the Home Office was “unwilling to take action” in 1978, we know that key member/s of PIE (Paedophile Information Exchange) were operating from within the Home Office. Continue reading
The “Giving Victims a Voice” report of 11th January 2013 tells us that Savile carried out his abuse from 1955 to 2009; that 214 crimes have been recorded so far – but at least 450 have been identified in the last few months but not recorded due to “some people wishing to remain anonymous and others who don’t wish the matter to be reported as a crime or are unable to remember sufficient detail.” There will be many more victims who felt they could not come forward at all, or who died prior to Operation Yewtree. The abuse occurred across the UK including London, Leeds, Scotland, Wales and Jersey; in hospitals, hospices, tv studios, children’s homes; and the victims were female and male ranging from 8 to 47.
Following the release of the report, the police and media have posed the question, “How did he get away with it?” This question needs to be split into three: Continue reading
Supporting charities is a good thing. Charities rely on donations to provide their essential services, and the altruistic act of giving is proven to be a good thing for the donators health and wellbeing.
But before you give money to a charity I think you need to think about 2 things:
- What exactly will the charity do with your money?
- Why did you think of that particular charity?
One of my first reactions to the Jimmy Savile revelations was to send money to a charity supporting children to try and redress the cosmic balance a little. The first charity that came to mind was Childline, so I went to their website which suggested I couldn’t give to them directly and directed me to the NSPCC website. So thinking I might donate to the NSPCC instead I did some research into what they do. While they undoubtedly do some fantastic work, I found some things which made me think twice (I expect these apply to some other big charities too): Continue reading