Government Knowledge Blog

Government Knowledge Blog

You Want to Prevent Abuse.. But How? What You Need to Know

How often do you hear “it couldn’t happen here”?
The problem is, it may already be too late. The facts speak for themselves:
  • 88% of those being abused don’t tell.
  • 1 in 5 children are reporting serious abuse in the UK and 12million children live here.
  • 1 in 5 adults report being sexually abused as a child.
  • Adults abused as children are 12 times more likely to commit suicide.
  • 80% of young offenders have been abused as a child.

Children deserve a better start in life and it begins with greater awareness and responsibility from the adults who supposedly protect them. It begins with understanding behaviours of the abuser and the abused.

We may all know someone being abused or someone who has suffered historic abuse – but they don’t wear a beacon on their head.
Remember, abusers are plausible, devious and manipulative, and for most their desire to abuse is an addiction.
Every day there are countless child abuse stories, past and current, and unfortunately there will be in the future. The reality is we can never stop abuse happening, but we can prevent a lot of it.
There are so many myths which need addressing and education on this important subject reduces anxiety and fear.
Below is a list of questions perhaps you should ask yourself to see how confident you may be of your answer:
  • Why do people abuse?
  • How does an abuser justify their behaviour?
  • Is it nature or nurture?
  • How rife is this crime?
  • What help is there for an abuser?
  • How does it feel to witness grooming?
  • What exactly is it?
  • What should I do?
  • Who is at risk?
  • What is the impact of abuse and grooming on a young child and into adulthood?
  • Why and how does child abuse damage the developing brain?
  • How do adults abused as children, cope with parenting?
  • How will I manage my emotions, organisation and staff if someone I know has been abused or may even be abusing?
  • How would I feel if a child was being abused and I missed the signs?
  • What are the ripple effects?
  • How can I check out my concerns of grooming and abuse anonymously and yet be heard?
  • How do I manage sexualised behaviours in young child and adolescents?
  • What if I was wrong or even right?
  • How does anyone who has been abused survive and thrive? 
All these questions can be answered on the Enough Abuse UK workshops. It is a unique experience where attendees get an insight into the dangers and risk of grooming and abuse.
Policies, processes and procedures will not prevent abuse. An understanding of grooming is essential for all. It is basic health and safety.
We teach children to cross the road, ride a bike, swim, but the issue of child abuse is the harm which causes unfulfilled potential and dreams and mental health issues.
We all must open our minds to new ideas and fresh education for positive change. Our evaluations and references consistently show at least 75% to 90% of information received on our workshops is new and relevant to trained professionals.
Before the workshops delegates on balance know only 15% more than an untrained parent.
Damage limitation at every level means that there is a real need for this training. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.
It is true to say this abhorrent crime is now recognised as having been “rampant throughout every organisation” – as quoted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
If we do what we always do, we will get what we always get. The time for change is right now or we will be having the same media conversations in another decade from now with thousands of more damaged lives, day after day.
Please help make a difference in 2015!

Marilyn Hawes
Marilyn Hawes, Founder of Enough AbuseUK – a child protection organisation breaking the cycle of abuse and changing lives. She is a trained music teacher with unique experience. Her children were victims of sexual “grooming” and abuse by the Headmaster of the school they attended. The Headmaster was both a colleague and a personal family friend.
As a teacher Marilyn attended many courses on Child Protection and asks why none of them flagged up the behaviour necessary to recognise “grooming” in order to protect her children.
Since this incident Marilyn has devoted her time to research the “grooming” process and subsequent abuse. She believes education is the most effective way to raise awareness to ensure better protection of children.
She has written a book and produced a guideline booklet for identifying and managing the issues created by grooming and sexual abuse. Both of which have been positively appraised by professionals in this field.
Marilyn regularly speaks at schools, conferences and the media across the UK. She is well known for her strong pragmatic views. Her empathy and friendly approach reaches out encouraging people to address the issues by raising their understanding which makes for a safer future for our children and their families.
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