The prime minister has revealed new measures to protect victims of sexual abuse. Any adult that has failed to protect a child from abuse, or has purposely neglected to report the incident, will face serious punishments and possible jail time. These measures apply to organisations and businesses as well, who will face unlimited fines if they are seen to have failed in protecting children against sexual abuse.
Police are now viewing sexual exploitation as a ‘national threat’, and any abuse will be treated in the same way as other serious crimes. It will encourage police officers at all levels to come together to fight the alarming levels of abuse in the country.
The government will also be introducing a national helpline, where professionals can call a number and feel safe to report any bad practice related to sexual abuse that is occurring in their workplace. David Cameron has spoken out about these new measures, using recent abuse examples from Rotherham and Oxford. He strongly believes that all social workers, police officers and council staff have a huge responsibility when it comes to protecting children and providing them with a safe environment, and anyone that does not take this responsibility seriously and ends up failing the children need to suffer some consequences.
The Department of Health has also published some new guidelines which explain the role that school nursing services should be playing, and how they also need to put more effort into not only preventing sexual abuse from happening at schools, but also being able to recognise if a child is suffering from abuse at home.