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Child Sex Attackers Target Other Children

Cornwall News
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9:42am 7th July 2014
(Updated 9:42am 7th July 2014)

Shocking new figures reveal the number of Cornish schoolchildren who have carried out sex attacks on other children.

The NSPCC says, last year, there were 50 cases in the Duchy and Devon where under eighteens were accused of offences against other children.

The youngest questioned was just eleven while the youngest victim was four.

The charity says most victims knew the alleged attacker and some of the most common crimes were teenage boys offending against female friends.

Whilst most offenders were male there was a small proportion of female offenders as well as male victims. Crimes included serious sexual assaults, rape, and obscene publication offences.

Jacky Moon from the NSPCC in the southwest said: “It’s deeply concerning that thousands of children are committing sexual offences including serious assaults and rape. For young children in particular we have to question the environment in which they are growing up that has led to them behaving in this way.

“Prevention has to be the key and that is recognising warning signs early and taking swift action. It could be that they have seen sexual activity that they are just too young to understand and are copying what they’ve seen.

“We also know that pornography for many older children is now part of life. Easy access to hard core, degrading and often violent videos on the internet is warping views of what is normal or acceptable behaviour. It is also feeding into ‘sexting’ where teenagers are creating and distributing their own videos and images that are illegal and have led to prison sentences.

“But these children are not beyond help. If we act quickly and children receive therapy such as that provided by the NSPCC’s ‘Turn the Page’ service we can reduce the risk of them becoming adult sex offenders. And, most importantly, their victims need support to overcome what has happened to them. Sexual offences, whether committed by another child or an adult, can have lifelong consequences.”

Peter Wanless from the NSPCC said: "Particularly with younger children, I think a number of these alleged offences are a consequence of having seen things they don't understand and children are re-enacting.

"Availability of hard-core pornographic material, violent films and videos are creating a sort of mind-set and expectation about what is appropriate behaviour."

Any adult worried about a child or in need of help and advice can contact the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children and young people can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111.

9:42am 7th July 2014

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