Child Abuse Rises in Northern Ireland

  • An average of six sexual offences against children are being committed every day in Northern Ireland, alarming figures have revealed.
  • Statistics from the PSNI, obtained by the NSPCC, show that in the last year there were 2,082 recorded offences against under 18s – representing a rise of 37% in the five years since 2014/15.
  • The charity also said the number of contacts from young people to Childline about sexual abuse in the family have tripled during the lockdown.
  • Across the UK there were 73,518 recorded offences including rape, online grooming and sexual assault against children in 2019/20 – up 57% in the five years since 2014/15.

British Sportswomen Report Increase in Horrific Trolling

  • Elite British sportswomen have spoken out about “horrific abuse” on social media, telling a BBC Sport survey about constant comments on their appearance and sexist remarks questioning their right to play sport.
  • The BBC Elite British Sportswomen’s Survey was sent to 1,068 women in 39 different sports and received 537 responses.
  • One hundred and sixty sportswomen – 30% of respondents – said they had been trolled on social media, up from 14% in 2015.
  • Some athletes had received inappropriate images and described the abuse as “threatening” and “scary”.
  • Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston said “it is absolutely unacceptable”.

Abuse Victim Awarded £1 Million 

  • A man sexually abused as a schoolboy has been awarded more than £1m from his teacher’s employer.
  • In 1980, a man raped James a schoolboy, which he disclosed to his teacher Andrew Adams at Highgate Wood School, in north London, who used the sexual assault to manipulate, groom and then sexually abuse James for years. 
  • After notifying police of his abuse many years later, the victim james sued Haringey Council in London, who argued unsuccessfully that the assaults by Andrew Adams had caused no long-term trauma and were the result of the school boy grooming him. 
  • James’ solicitor, David McClenaghan said “the Court of Appeal has roundly accepted his case that it was impossible for him to consent to sexual activity with his teacher, given the background of manipulation and grooming that he was subjected to”.

Scottish Pupils Return to School 

  • Pupils will return to the classroom as Scottish schools become the first in the UK to begin reopening as lockdown is eased.
  • Local authorities across the country are taking different approaches with the time frame for reopening for the first time since March 20.
  • Pupils in the Scottish Borders are returning on Tuesday, as are some in Shetland on a phased basis.
  • Elsewhere, pupils will return from Wednesday, with many councils operating a phased return ahead of the August 18 deadline for all pupils to be back full-time.
  • Fears have been raised about how well-prepared teachers are to deal with mitigating the spread of the virus, as well as anxiety among staff who are returning.

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