- Childline has delivered more than 392 sessions with children from Wales
- New figures come as the counselling service prepares for the Christmas season, continuing to be a lifeline for vulnerable children and young people
Childline reveals that over the last year the service delivered more than 392 counselling sessions to children and young people from Wales about sexual, physical, domestic, emotional abuse and neglect.
The service, which is run by the NSPCC, is also highlighting that of those counselling sessions in Wales, 38 per cent had a child say that Childline was the first place where they had spoken about their abuse.
Due to the confidential nature of the service, Childline only records the nation or region a child or young person is contacting them from if they volunteer that information. Last year, in more than a third of all sessions (4,906) the child did not disclose that information.
The NSPCC is releasing these figures as it launches its Christmas appeal.
Although Christmas comes with huge expectations of happiness, love and fun – for the more than half a million children experiencing abuse a year, it can also be an incredibly lonely and frightening time.
With schools closing their doors and children having reduced contact with wider support networks over the festive season, the charity knows that there will be many vulnerable children at home facing increased risks.
For those children and young people for whom Christmas means abuse, Childline is a lifeline.
December last year was the second highest month in the year for children from across the UK reaching out for support on emotional abuse.
A young person from Wales said, “My parents have always argued with each other, but over Christmas break it’s got physical. I can hear it all going on in the next room, shouting, swearing, telling each other to leave. Then I see the bruises afterwards. It makes me so scared I can’t sleep. Thank you for listening, I feel better for talking about it with someone.”
A girl, aged 17, who contacted Childline over Christmas said; “My parents are drug addicts and don’t buy us any food. If they do get us any, it’s usually stolen from somewhere. They always ask me for my work money. I’d like advice on how to move out with my 12-year-old brother. I feel like other people don’t get it when I try to talk to them. I’ve been thinking about contacting Social Services, but I thought I would ask Childline for advice first.”
In its new TV advert, the NSPCC highlights that on average a child will call Childline every 45 seconds and that for these children, Christmas can be the worst time of year.
The ad is inspired by real calls from children to the NSPCC’s Childline service, which is open for children every day, including Christmas day.
In the advert a girl named Kara is sat outside on a park bench in the dark speaking to a Childline a counsellor over the phone.
Shaun Friel, Childline director said; “Although Christmas should be a time of happiness and fun for all children, at Childline we know that sadly this is not the case and that for many, it is a time full of fear, isolation and increased risks.
“For lots of children, Childline is the only place they can turn to for help when they are trapped behind closed doors feeling scared and alone.
“In the run up to this festive season, it is essential that the service continues to be here as a lifeline for those children who are in desperate need of support from our trained counsellors and those in immediate danger.”
To enable the charity to be there for all children this Christmas, visit the NSPCC website to donate. Just £4 could help a counsellor answer a call this festive season.
The Childline service is here for children every day, even on Christmas Day. Children can contact Childline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When a child needs help and Christmas means abuse, Childline is a lifeline and it is vital that our counsellors are here and ready to listen and support children across the UK.
Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk