“Talk Pants” – that’s the message from a new scheme launched to keep Sunderland children safe from abuse.
The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has teamed up with Sunderland City Council to spread the word to mums and dads about having open conversations.
It comes a year after Ofsted said the council was “inadequate” across a range of services, including child protection, adoption and children in care.
Helen Westerman, local campaigns manager, said: “Sunderland City Council, with the help of the NSPCC, has now made sure preventing child sexual abuse and exploitation is high on the agenda.
“We are launching Pants because it is about encouraging parents to have simple, open conversations with children on the topic without using scary words, or talking about sex.
“As a parent you know when it’s right to discuss a subject and remind children of the dangers out there.” Pants stands for: 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.
Deanna Lagun, deputy chairwoman of Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board, said: “The Pants campaign is all about helping parents to teach children how to stay safe and the importance of speaking up if something does happen.
“We think it’s a valuable addition to the work we and our partner agencies are already doing to tackle child sex exploitation.”