Two reports issues today confirm that thousands of children each year are victims of sexual abuse caused by other children and young people. The number of reported sexual offences by under-18s on other under under-18s has risen by 71% in the last 3 years to over 7,500 incidents reported to the Police – yet this is just, as one expert has said, the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
When the subject of child abuse is raised, the common belief is that it is adult against child violence; sadly these reports show that increasingly this is not the case.
SOS Domestic Abuse Projects provides support and assistance to people who are experiencing domestic and sexual abuse. Our Break the Cycle team in particular specifically supports young people who are in danger of, or who are suffering domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships. Key to the success of our Break the Cycle project is our free training for schools and other professionals in Southend to raise awareness of unhealthy relationships among children and young people, and to provide them with information of how to access help for the victim.
It is our hope that through our work professionals will have a greater understanding of some of the issues that children and young people are facing, and that victims will have greater confidence to come forward and report abuse.