Physical Abuse Against Children Rises
23 July 2012, 06:00
Capital's been told one thousand one hundred and twenty children from across the East Midlands contacted Childline in the last year to report physical abuse from at least one of their parents.
The charity is now launchin a major campign to encourage children to speak out about physical abuse as new figures show a link to self-harm and truancy.
Of those 1120 children that called into volunteers in Nottingham, 530 described the abuse as hitting, and 72 described being seriously injured or wounded. In cases reported to ChildLine nationally during the 2011/12 perion, the perpetrator was equally as likely to be the child's mother (32 per cent) as it was the father (31 per cent).
A further one in 10 reported that both parents had physically abused them. The vast majority of young people contacting ChildLine about physical abuse were aged between 12 and 15.
However, 24 per cent were under the age of 11 and a few were as young as 5 years old. At the Nottingham base 210 of the children and young people making contact were 11 years and under. A young person who contacted a counsellor at the Nottingham base said: "I am really stressed; my mum is always hitting me. I find it difficult to concentrate in school. I need support."
The charity has now launched a video this week starring child actor Sammy Williams (Wild Bill) and Neil Maskell (Football Factory) as his father, to help young people recognise the signs of abuse, understand that it's not their fault and to seek help sooner.
Check it out below:
Gaynor Birnie, service manager at the Nottingham ChildLine base, said: "We know that physical abuse has a hugely detrimental effect on children?s behaviour and education. Children and young people often express their feelings by causing harm to themselves or others. We also know that a child's normal development can be damaged by witnessing or experiencing physical or emotional abuse at a young age. Seeking help as soon as possible can reduce the long term damage of physical abuse."