NSPCC

The children's charity has launched a campaign called the Underwear Rule to help parents protect their children from sexual abuse

NSPCC's Talk Pants campaign video
NSPCC's Talk Pants campaign video

What is it?

The new campaign encourages parents to talk to their children about their private parts and teach them the Underwear Rule, a simple way in which parents can help to keep them safe from abuse. The rule tells them that their bodies belongs to them, they have a right to say no and they should tell an adult if they're upset or worried.

The charity has developed an easy-to-remember guide – Talk PANTS – that helps children understand the key points of the rule:

Privates are private

Always remember, your body belongs to you

No means no

Talk about secrets that upset you

Speak up, someone can help.

The six-week advertising campaign, which will be broadcast on nearly 60 local radio stations throughout the UK, is being supported by the online network for mothers, Netmums.

The campaign includes a video that shows some of the words children use to name their private parts, which can be watched on the charity’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.

What’s the thinking behind the campaign?

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, says: "We must educate our children about staying safe and speaking out. Parents have told us they lack confidence in approaching this difficult but important issue. We’ve worked with parent groups to devise a simple, age-appropriate way of making sure children speak up if something happens. It’s a quick conversation, but could make a big difference."

A new online YouGov poll shows half the parents of five to 17-year-olds who took part in the survey had never spoken to their sons or daughters about the issue of sexual abuse. And of those who had, more than two in five (43 per cent) said it was a difficult conversation.

How has the campaign been promoted?

The charity has been tweeting about the campaign using the hashtag #talkpants on Twitter and has been promoted on its Facebook and YouTube pages.

Third Sector verdict:

This campaign has taken on board the concerns of parents and reponds by providing the necessary tools for parents to tackle this sensitive subject. The video, which is light-hearted and humorous, helps to make the subject more approachable, without losing the serious message underlining the campaign.

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