The NSPCC is the leading children’s charity in the UK, specialising in child protection and dedicated to protecting children today to prevent abuse tomorrow. We’re the only UK children’s charity with statutory powers, which means we can take action to safeguard children at risk of abuse. In 2016, we set ourselves an ambition to make 5 million children safer in five years. We are proud to say that we achieved this in 3 years and our ambitious new strategy will begin in 2021. Our services include:
We teach children that abuse is never their fault, and they can always speak out and get help.
- We have delivered our Speak out Stay safe service to more than 4.7 million primary school children.
We help children to recover from abuse and get their lives back on track.
- We've worked directly with over 21,700 children and adults.
We run our helpline and Childline for any concerned adult or child to turn to for confidential support.
- Over 334,900 children aged 12-18 contacted Childline for the first time over the last 3 years.
Campaigning for change
We stand up for children and demand that laws and rules need to change to protect them.
- It used to be legal for an adult to send a child a sexual message, and online grooming wasn’t a crime. NSPCC petitioned the Minister for Online Child Protection, and with the support of 50,000 supporters the law was changed to make both illegal.
The support of Syncona Foundation has been instrumental in helping NSPCC with one of our main organisational objectives – ‘to make children safe from online abuse’.
The funding from Syncona has been used in this area to:
- Support our Net Aware and Share Aware services for parents and children - to educate and advise them on how to remain safe online.
- Develop innovative new online tools such as ‘Report Remove’ to allow children to both prevent images and video’s of them from being found online and to have them removed.
- Run public education campaigns helping people understand the internet and keep children safe online.
- Lobby for technology companies and government to put effective controls in place for child online safety.
Our Wild West Web campaign called for the government to introduce new legislation and regulations for social media companies to keep children safe when using their services. We called for them to actively seek ways of preventing harm, support police investigations and report suspicious behaviour to law enforcement.
In May 2018, thanks to the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign the government promised to create new social media laws to protect children online. In April 2019, they published the Online Harms White Paper outlining what these laws will look like.
Henry* and Charlotte* had noticed that their 11 year old daughter had started to become secretive with her mobile phone use. Now they realise that they should have asked more questions.
"A few weeks after buying the phone our daughter had a sleep over with a school friend where we later found out that her friend had showed her how to download the Instagram app and create two accounts. On one of the accounts she started posting sexually explicit images of herself and someone had asked her to send videos of herself - this led us to believe that she may have been subject to online grooming. We were absolutely knocked sideways that this could happen to our well loved, intelligent and eloquent daughter. We thought we had already put reasonable parental controls in place for her internet use and we had already talked about the dangers of being on-line.
At this point, we wanted to speak to someone who we could trust to talk to about the steps to find out how best to protect our daughter and who could give us professional anonymous advice. We searched Google for some guidance and the NSPCC’s Share Aware service came up.
The adviser we spoke to was amazing, very calm, very supportive of us as parents and great at listening, whilst giving very practical advice about how we could report the grooming and ensure the images were removed – whilst also helping our daughter and ourselves, move on and not let this define our relationship with our daughter.
We now talk as much and as often about everything and are confident that she has put this behind her. For other parents in the same situation I would say “contact the NSPCC”. However hopeless the situation may be, there is someone there who has the expertise and can help.
Thank you again to the NSPCC."
*Names have been changed to protect identities
**Children pictured are models