John Cameron, Head of the NSPCC's helpline, said the charity had received a "surge of calls" in recent weeks relating to the allegations of abuse against Jimmy Savile. But he said:
We shouldn't forget that the majority of sexual abuse is committed by someone close to the child. As a parent, knowing or suspecting your child is being sexually abused can be incredibly traumatic.
But to protect children, people need to act and we provide sensitive professional help and support. Even if they feel they have dealt with the situation themselves and their child is safe, other children may still be at risk from the abuser.
Some parents are concerned that they will not be believed, or that they may be blamed for not preventing it. But Mr Cameron dismissed those worries, saying:
– John Cameron
When parents or others report abuse, whether it's the NSPCC, children's services or the police, professionals will work with them to protect the child, help them overcome the abuse and bring the abuser to justice. Our new leaflet helps parents to take the difficult steps in identifying and reporting sexual abuse.
- The NSPCC's new guidance for parents and carers, 'What can I do? Protecting your child from sexual abuse,' is available now to download from www.nspcc.org.uk.