An NSPCC campaign to help professionals, parents and carers, from the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust area, have simple conversations to help keep children safe from abuse was launched today (24 May).
Also known as the Underwear Rule, the charity’s highly successful Talk PANTS! campaign has, since 2012, been supporting and encouraging parents and carers to talk to children, aged between four and eight years, about sexual abuse. The tools and resources give adults clear and easy ways to start these child friendly and age-appropriate conversations to help keep children safe.
Rather than putting the onus on the child, talking PANTS helps children to understand that they have a right to safety and helps support them to recognise when something is not okay and how to tell someone if they are upset or worried.
The key messages for children are:
P – Privates are privates.
A – Always remember your body belongs to you.
N – No means no.
T – Talk about secrets that upset you.
S – Speak up, someone can help.
The campaign in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust area aims to help professionals, parents and carers find out more about the PANTS resources and messages and to encourage the promotion of Talk Pants! through local partners. Webinars will be held for professionals so that they can find out more about the campaign and booklets, posters and other resources will be made available to help families and professionals in the area. Following on from this, the PANTS message will be taken out into community events and settings over the summer months.
The Talk PANTS! colourful character, Pantosaurus, has been touring the area with campaign partners to promote the message and resources. Photos of Pantosaurus will be popping up on the social media pages of NSPCC Northern Ireland and its partner agencies in the coming weeks.
John Mc Bride, Local Campaigns Manager at NSPCC Northern Ireland, said, “This is an incredibly exciting project. With the support of the Public Health Agency and the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, we can reach more families and professionals, offering them our support and knowledge. Traditionally, adults have always taught children about healthy eating and road safety but conversations like Talk PANTS! are just as vital. The Talk PANTS! resources offer a reassuring approach for what needn’t be a difficult subject.”
The Public Health Agency is supporting the delivery of NSPCC’s highly successful Talk PANTS! campaign, in partnership with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust with the support of local partner agencies.
Gabrielle O’Neill, Interim Head of Health Improvement at South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, said: “We are delighted to promote the PANTS campaign across the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and look forward to working in partnership over the coming months to share the campaign resources and to help protect our children and young people.”
“It is so important that parents, carers and professionals are empowered to deliver these messages and that they feel supported in doing so.”
Barbara Porter, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager with the Public Health Agency, said: “The PHA fully support the PANTS campaign which promotes simple conversations to help keep children and young people safe from abuse. Part of the development of any young child is learning rules and messages that will help keep them safe and healthy. Just as we teach children about staying safe in a variety of home and public settings, the PANTS rule will help children learn about their own personal safety and who to go to if they need help.”
“We all have a part to play in helping keep children and young people safe. We will continue to work in partnership with the relevant agencies to ensure the roll out of the campaign across the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust area.”
For more information about the Underwear Rule, PANTS, visit http://www.nspcc.org.uk/pants or to watch the Pantosaurus video visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyalcd955lg
Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC’s free and confidential helpline on 0808 800 5000 for advice. Children can call Childline on 0800 1111.