The Stop It Now campaign claims to have trained 600 police officers to help parents to spot child abuse in the home (your report, 31 July).
The organisation asserts that almost 17 per cent of Scots children suffer sexual abuse before the age of 16, but also claims that the bulk of child abuse is “unreported” – in which case where does it get that figure of 17 per cent?
Is this just another of those figures that is plucked from the imagination of those with an agenda?
It is depressing to see the familiar “check list” system of identification of abuse, despite the agony that the use of such lists has caused in the past, when enthusiastic amateurs have gone looking for abuse where none existed.
Stop It Now has produced a list which includes such normal childhood problems as bed- wetting and nightmares.
Parents are to be warned to look out for “changes in eating habits” in children up to the age of 16, at a time when young women in particular are obsessed with diet, are bombarded daily with the images in magazines which specifically target their age group, and encouraged to aspire to have the “perfect body shape” as epitomised by the airbrushed pictures of models that fill the pages.
When some “progressives” argue that primary school children should be given what jokingly passes for sex education in this country, and people as young as 13 who are sexually active should be given contraception without their parent’s consent or even knowledge, is it any wonder that some parents will discover their children will suddenly learn adult words for body parts?
Is this really meant to be taken seriously? Child abuse is a tragedy with a long history, and it has been well-established for much of that history that children are more at risk from people they know or from family members than from predatory strangers.
Unfortunately, that has not prevented perfectly innocent people from being attacked, pilloried and frequently prosecuted for no reason other than that someone misread the “signs” that abuse has taken place when none existed.
This kind of misguided nonsense has led to well-publicised miscarriages of justice in the past, and one would have hoped the authorities would have learned the lessons from the past. But apparently not.
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