Child abuse survivor spreads word about NSPCC’s schools service

NSPCC volunteers Katishe Hughes, back, second from left, and Clare Whiston, back, second from right, with Kelly Whitfield, front, middle, and pupils from Usworth Colliery Primary School.
NSPCC volunteers Katishe Hughes, back, second from left, and Clare Whiston, back, second from right, with Kelly Whitfield, front, middle, and pupils from Usworth Colliery Primary School.
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Child abuse survivor Kelly Whitfield is backing moves to protect a generation of children on Wearside.

Kelly, of Washington, was abused by her mother and stepfather from the age of five.

If the NSPCC schools service had been around when I was being abused I would have known it was wrong, and hopefully I would have had the courage to talk to a teacher.

Kelly Whitfield

Now Kelly, who waived her right to anonymity, is supporting the NSPCC’s Schools Service which helps children understand how they can stay safe.

She attended an assembly at Usworth Colliery School in Washington to see how the NSPCC’s message is conveyed to young people.

“I was very impressed at the way in which young people were told what to look out for and who to talk to about abuse, neglect and bullying,” she said.

“When I was being abused I thought it was normal behaviour, I didn’t realise it was wrong and it wasn’t happening to other children.

“If the NSPCC schools service had been around when I was being abused I would have known it was wrong, and hopefully I would have had the courage to talk to a teacher.

“It wouldn’t have stopped what happened to me, but it might not have gone on for so long.”

The Schools Service is free to schools and aims to visit all primary and academy schools across the North East every two years.

Christine Danby-Platt, NSPCC Schools Service area co-ordinator for Wearside, said: “We’re really proud of what the Schools Service has achieved for children on Wearside and we wouldn’t have got this far without our brilliant volunteers and the fantastic support of local schools.”

For more informatione-mail cdanbyplatt@nspcc.org.uk.