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'Children do struggle to talk up': NSPCC workshops in Hounslow are educating kids and parents about sexual abuse

The UK's leading children's charity is working alongside Hounslow Council during a year long campaign tailored towards keeping children safe from sexual abuse

The NSPCC continues to carry out workshops in the borough of Hounslow in a bid to keep children safe from sexual abuse.

The year long campaign, which began at the start of 2017, is raising awareness of the NSPCC'S Underwear Rule, PANTS, with the message being shared in schools and to parents and carers at dedicated workshops.

The UK's leading children's charity is working in partnership with Hounslow Council, aiming to provide a range of resources and support to help people teach children how to stay safe from sexual abuse.

The year long campaign in Hounslow began at the beginning on 2017(Image: NSPCC)

Emma Motherwell, NSPCC local campaigns manager told getwestlondon: "PANTS, or the Underwear Rule as it's also known, is about supporting parents have really simple conversations with their children that can help keep them safe from sexual abuse.

"It's about equipping children, some really simple keep safe messages that they can then use to protect themselves."

Emma acknowledges that "children do struggle to talk up" and says Hounslow Safeguarding Children’s Board wanted to work with the children's charity with a proactive approach to helping children understand sexual abuse and to support parents in engaging in those conversations with their children.

So what does PANTS stand for?

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.

Mother of three, Rachel Maclure from Hounslow, attended a workshop at Spring Grove Primary School with Emma.

She said: "I found the workshop fantastic, really, really helpful.

"I think it was vital that I went to the workshop because had I not been, I probably wouldn't have found out necessarily that they were learning about this at school.

The NSPCC is encouraging children to speak out and stay safe(Image: NSPCC)

"When I came home, I used the PANTS poster around the dinner table just as a conversation starter because I thought it was so good and they were like 'Oh yeah mum, we have been doing this at school.'"

Rachel, whose children are aged from five to 11, also told getwestlondon: "I find talking about sex and abuse very awkward with my children.

"I found that this was a great way to kind of talk to all three of them at the same time and for them to engage with it in their different levels of development."

She admitted: "It opened up a great opportunity for us to talk about sexual abuse and the fact that it could happen."

Alongside delivering advice in schools and in the local community, the NSPCC also has a video which features Pantosaurus and friends as they sing a song about keeping children safe from sexual abuse.

Although the campaign is no longer running in schools across Hounslow, Emma is encouraging parents and guardians to contact her and request dedicated workshops in a community environment.

You can email Emma at emma.motherwell@nspcc.org.uk or give her a call on 07976 065330.

For more information about the Underwear Rule, head to the NSPCC website.

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