1. ITV Report

Welsh children's charity estimates one in 20 children have experienced sexual abuse

Credit: PA

NSPCC Cymru has revealed there has been 200 referrals to local agencies over fears of sexual abuse in Wales in the past year.

This is a 28% increase on the previous year.

The charity estimates that one in 20 children have experienced sexual abuse.

referrals to children's services were made because of sexual abuse concerns in the past year UK-wide

I am concerned that a young girl in the neighbourhood might be at risk of sexual abuse by men who visit the house on weekends. There is lots of drinking that goes on and mum doesn't seem to be too concerned about leaving her alone with them. Mum can be often heard shouting and swearing at the girl and I don't think she is fit to care for her.

– NSPCC Helpline caller

NSPCC Cymru says children who have experienced sexual abuse may:

  • avoid being alone with people, such as family members or friends

  • show sexual behaviour that's inappropriate for their age

  • have physical symptoms such as a sexually transmitted infection

"It is deeply worrying that so many children are potentially being exposed to such a devastating experience, but at the same time it also suggests that as a society we are much more alert to the risks and much more willing to come forward and share our concerns.

Sexual abuse can do huge damage to a child's life and left untreated will often haunt them long into adulthood. It is therefore vital that anyone who suspects a young person is in danger contacts the authorities or gets in touch with us through our dedicated Helpline.

– Des Mannion, Head of NSPCC Cymru