Fearless – the youth programme of independent charity Crimestoppers – and Barnardo’s Scotland have this week joined forces to raise awareness of the signs of child harm and neglect, and encourage young people to pass on what they know or their suspicions 100% anonymously.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of children and young people across Scotland are without the safety net and care of schools and youth groups and the charities want to ensure that child protection concerns don’t go unreported.
The campaign delivered through Fearless.org aims to equip all young people with an understanding of the #FearlessFive signs of harm and neglect.
The signs of harm and neglect are
The child or young person might:
- Seem unclean or hungry.
- Be left alone at home for long periods of time.
- Have unexplained bruises or injuries. Seem withdrawn or depressed.
- Live with parents/carers who are often drunk or under the influence of drugs
- Confide in you that they are being hurt or forced to do things against their will.
Daljeet Dagon, national programme manager for CSE for Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “Child sexual abuse, exploitaiton, neglect and harm affects some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities. While the nation is in lockdown, it doesn’t mean that this isn’t taking place or that children and young people are at any less risk of harm, it just means it may be taking place under different circumstances.
“It’s important that we all stay vigilant and recognise the warning signs and know what to do if we have any concerns about a child or young person’s safety.
“Young people can help protect their peers by recognising the signs of neglect and harm and by simply passing on any suspicions they have through fearless.org , which offers a safe and secure means for them to share any worries or concerns they have.”