The Home Office has joined forces with charities including the IWF, the Marie Collins Foundation, the NSPCC, Barnardo’s and The Children’s Society to launch a new campaign to protect victims of child abuse.
The month-long campaign, ‘Something’s Not Right’, encourages young people to recognise different forms of abuse, report it and get help. The campaign will see animated adverts aimed at secondary school pupils aged 13+, running across Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
Young people will be directed to a dedicated page on the NSPCC service Childline where they can access information and seek support.
Why Was ‘Something’s Not Right’ Launched?
The campaign follows evidence suggesting that young people faced a greater risk of sexual abuse, criminal exploitation and domestic abuse due to the impact of coronavirus. The monthly average number of Childline counselling sessions about domestic abuse and abuse increased by 20% and 22% respectively in April-July 2020, compared to pre-lockdown levels.
The Internet Watch Foundation revealed that there were almost 9 million blocked attempts to access child sexual abuse material during the first month of restrictions alone. This trend has continued, with the charity revealing that in September, they received a 45% increase in calls reporting child abuse material online.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
Coronavirus has changed the way we all live, and many children and young people are seeing people they trust and those who care about them less. This has created additional risks and dangers for some. Since the start of the pandemic, we have invested millions to support vulnerable young people and our new campaign will help them identify abuse and get the support they need.
How does 'Something’s Not Right' Help Victims?
The campaign will help victims understand what may be happening to them and provide advice on how to report concerns to a trusted adult such as a teacher.
This latest communications effort will build on campaigns that ran during the Spring by the National Crime Agency and the Department for Education which were aimed and giving parents and carers advice on how to protect their children from online harms such as grooming.
Alongside signposting young people to additional support, secondary school teachers will also receive lesson plans to guide classroom discussions around different forms of hidden abuse, but also receive extra reassurance on what to do if a pupil discloses abuse to them.