CHILDLINE ADVICE: New communication aid will let more children speak out

Childline counsellors across the UK speak to children and young people every day who have concerns about or want to report abuse.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 27th June 2022, 12:00 am
Abuse is never the child’s fault.
Abuse is never the child’s fault.

We are here for children throughout the North East and across the country, so when these young people speak to us about their problems, it’s important that we recognise the courage that they have shown by getting in touch and by listening to them.

But what if a child has difficulty communicating?

Our colleagues in the NSPCC offer support to children across the North East and the rest of the country by visiting primary schools to Talk PANTS – an age-appropriate conversation to help children recognise abuse and give them the confidence to speak out about it.

The PANTS acronym spells out the advice; Privates are private, Always remember your body belongs to you, No means no, Talk about secrets that upset you and Speak up, someone can help.

Some of your children may already be aware of the PANTS rule thanks to visits from our schools service and the Pantosaurus mascot.

But from this week, a brand new version of the resource will be available in schools and online in Makaton for the first time.

Makaton is a type of sign language developed to help people with communication difficulties speak to others, and will help ensure primary schoolchildren with communication problems can recognise when something is not okay and how to tell someone about it.

The Talk PANTS campaign helps keep children safe from sexual abuse and gives them a voice in difficult situations.

It’s important that when they find their voice, someone is here to listen.

That could be a parent, carer or trusted adult, or it might be one of our counsellors.

At Childline, we do everything we can to ensure children can reach out to us however they need to.

Our counsellors are available on the phone and through our website around the clock to offer support about whatever issue children are dealing with.

Abuse is never the child’s fault, but by helping them understand what abuse can be and how they can speak to trusted adults about their concerns, we can help them report it and get help sooner.