Posted: Sun 5th May 2024

Childline sees five per cent rise in counselling sessions for emotional abuse

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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Childline has seen a five per cent increase in the number of counselling sessions it has delivered to children experiencing emotional abuse.

Between April 2023 and March 2024 the service’s trained counsellors, which includes those at the North Wales base in Prestatyn, delivered 2,879 sessions on this issue.

In 52 per cent of sessions, where the main concern was emotional abuse, being shouted at or verbally abused was the top sub concern.

Being criticised, humiliated and called names was the second most common sub concern.

A 14-year-old girl from Wales told Childline: “My mum and stepdad have been treating me unfairly for ages, like calling me worthless or shouting at me for no reason.

“They even threatened to kick me out the house. I can’t stand living with them, sometimes I feel like I want to run away, but I have nowhere to go. I feel like I can’t escape.”

The children’s charity is releasing these figures as it rallies communities to come together to play their part in helping to keep children safe by supporting the charity’s annual Childhood Day on 7 June.

Lidl GB has been named as retail sponsor for the event for the third year in a row and is encouraging customers and colleagues to get involved in activities across the country to help raise money.

People can get involved by donating, volunteering at a collection point or taking on the charity’s Childhood Day Mile.

All funds raised will go towards helping the NSPCC deliver vital services, like Childline which supports children at risk.

Being isolated or ignored, not being allowed to have friends and receiving blame for things they had not done were amongst the main things that children mentioned to the service’s trained counsellors.

On average, eight children a day are contacting the service about emotional abuse.

Sir Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO, said: “Half a million children a year suffer abuse in the UK. That means 7 children in a classroom experience abuse before they turn 18. This can’t go on and it doesn’t have to.

“It’s devastating to hear that contacts to Childline on emotional abuse are on the increase. We must remember that these are not children who are being overly sensitive or dislike being disciplined, they are being psychologically abused by the people who are there to protect them.

“For the past 140 years, the NSPCC has been working tirelessly to prevent abuse, change the law and support children at risk, but the charity knows that strong communities are at the heart of keeping children safe.

“That is why the charity is encouraging everyone to play their part and support Childhood Day. £4 raised could help a Childline counsellor answer a call to a child in need of help.”

Lidl GB is sponsoring the NSPCC’s Childhood Day for a third year as retail sponsor. Lidl GB has been partnered with the NSPCC for 7 years and is currently supporting young people with their mental health by raising money for Childline.

Mark Newbold, Lidl GB Senior CSR Manager, said: “We’re proud to be backing Childhood Day for the third year in a row, rallying our colleagues and customers in support of such a vital cause – protecting young people.

“No child facing abuse or feelings of isolation should ever have to struggle alone. Childline is a lifeline for so many young people, and we hope that through our partnership with the NSPCC and continued support with raising funds, children who need somewhere to turn can get help quickly.”

To find out more on how to get involved in Childhood Day this year including taking part Childhood Day Mile or volunteering at a collection point visit the NSPCC website.

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