Washington and Sunderland MP backs drive to tackle child abuse

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A CAMPAIGN to prevent child abuse in Sunderland has won support in Parliament.

This week the NSPCC launched its latest bid to show parents how to better protect their children from potential abusers.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, offered her support to the initiative at the House of Commons.

The Shadow Children’s Minister was among guests at last week’s Parliamentary preview of the charity’s Underwear Rule campaign, which launched on Monday, and recorded a video message to support the organisation’s calls.

Awareness of sexual abuse has risen dramatically since the catalogue of assaults committed by Jimmy Savile was revealed last year, with the NSPCC’s helpline experiencing a huge rise in children seeking help.

But while parents want to help their children stay safe from sexual abuse, many don’t always have the confidence to explain how.

Mrs Hodgson said: “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to find their child has been touched inappropriately – and no family wants to think it will ever happen to them.

“But as the statistics show, it does happen to one in 20 kids, and nine times out of 10 by someone known to them.”

Peter Wanless, new chief executive officer of the NSPCC, said: “We are grateful for the support of Sharon. If we are to tackle this issue, we must prevent it before it even starts.”