Dare2Care: national action plan for preventing child abuse and violence in teenage relationships

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This plan is focused on preventing child abuse and violence in teenagers’ relationships before they have occurred, rather than treating them as an inevitability. It demonstrates that in order to prevent abuse, children, parents and professionals must be equipped from the earliest possible moment to recognise exploitative and coercive behaviour - and have the tools to challenge and prevent it. There are currently over 57,000 children identified as needing protection from abuse in the UK and one in 20 children will experience child sexual abuse. The document sets out key facts and recommendations on early years and parenting, online abuse, violence and pornography in teenage relationships, and resilience and relationships education. Key recommendations include: children must be equipped with the knowledge to recognise abuse, the resilience to stay safe and challenge what makes them feel uncomfortable, as well as the support to sustain healthy, respectful and consensual relationships when they are older; parents must be equipped with the tools, understanding and confidence to recognise and challenge abuse, to address sensitive issues with their children and to keep their children safe both online and offline; there must be a ‘whole system’ approach so that agencies are working together to share information as well as solutions to protect the child and prevent abuse. Every frontline professional who comes into contact with a child, including staff in the health, education and social care professions, must be equipped to spot the signs of abuse and know how to respond effectively if a child discloses to them; and society needs to recognise that the Internet has dramatically changed the methods used by abusers. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
child protection, child sexual abuse, young people, violence, child abuse, internet, pornography, resilience;
Content type:
practice guidance
United Kingdom
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