As a society we seem to only focus on the consequences of child abuse.
How many victims?
Will there be prosecutions?
Who is to blame?
But what if we could prevent abuse happening?
Do we accept abuse as inevitable, or do we begin the cultural fightback to prevent if from occurring?
Sarah Champion MP, Shadow Minister for Preventing Abuse and Domestic Violence, has campaigned consistently to prevent all forms of child abuse. In the course of this work, she became increasingly concerned that interventions to minimise the risk of abuse were mainly due to the work of charities and individuals, usually on a piecemeal basis.
Sarah decided to instigate a campaign, called Dare2Care, to facilitate debate about how we can challenge child abuse, provide information, raise awareness and change policy.
In developing Dare2Care, Sarah has talked to many young people about their current relationships and has been shocked to discover a pronounced normalisation of violence, particularly toward girls. This is echoed in recent research by Girl Guiding. Their 2015 Girls’ Attitudes Survey found that one in 10 young women aged 17 to 21 surveyed stayed in a relationship in which their partner had made them feel unsafe.
Sadly, there has always been violence in relationships. But when did it start to be seen as normal rather than shocking? When did this cultural shift occur and why? What impact has online pornography had on the expectations of young men and women about sexual relationships? How does on-line abuse, especially online sexual abuse, affect young people?
Working with charities, organisations and individuals, Dare2Care will start to unpack these questions and provide resources to help make child abuse and violence in relationships a thing of the past.