9 Dec 2014

A report by Victim Support and the University of Bedfordshire for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Victims and Witnesses of Crime has found that some young people see crimes such as robbery, theft and assault as a normal part of growing up and do not even see themselves as victims.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: 'It’s shocking that nobody knows how many children fall victim to crime every year. Understanding the scale of the problem is an essential first step to tackling it.

'Part of the challenge, as we know through our direct work with children, is how difficult it is for young people - particularly those who have been groomed or sexually exploited - to tell someone about abuse they experienced.

'When children are brave enough to come forward, too often the professionals who should be protecting them let them down, by failing to believe them or by dismissing them as troublesome. Overall professionals must get better at identifying children who may be victims, supporting them when they disclose abuse and helping them after they have come forward. And schools need to teach children about healthy relationships and consent, so young people are better able to recognise abuse and know where to turn.'

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Notes to editors

The Children’s Society has helped change children’s stories for over a century. We expose injustice and address hard truths, tackling child poverty and neglect head-on. We fight for change based on the experiences of every child we work with and the solid evidence we gather. Through our campaigning, commitment and care, we are determined to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life.