Warning to look out for signs of child abuse

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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PARENTS and carers of young children are being reminded to spot potential signs of sexual abuse by the manager of a support centre.

Mary Bridgman runs the Sexual Assault Referral Centre Treetops, in Northern Road, Cosham, Portsmouth, and is sending out the message on the sixth anniversary of the service.

Since the centre opened, it has seen 2,585 people – 374 of those are victims aged 16 or under.

Mary said: ‘A recent report from the Children’s Commissioner for England suggested thousands of children are being abused by gangs and groups each year makes very sad reading indeed.

‘The commissioner’s report, coming out on the eve of Treetops’ sixth anniversary, serves as a timely reminder to us all that we need to do a lot more to stop abuse from happening in the first instance, and to support victims.

‘Everybody has a responsibility to safeguard wellbeing in their community and parents and guardians can do their bit by looking out for behavioural changes.’