The NSPCC have reported a 31 per cent increase in the amount of referrals made since last year.
The charity reveals that on average 90 referrals are made every week to local agencies over fears of sexual abuse.
In Derbyshire, the NSPCC helpline referred 92 contacts on this issue in 2016/17 – up from 57 in 2015/16.
In Nottinghamshire, there were 83 referrals in 2015/16, and 74 in 2016/17.
During 2016/17 the charity’s free and confidential helpline referred 4,677 calls and emails to police and children’s services, an increase of 31 per cent on the previous year.
There were also a further 3,912 contacts where Helpline staff gave advice about sexual abuse against young people.
One caller who phoned the NSPCC helpline said: “I am concerned that a young girl in the neighbourhood might be at risk of sexual abuse by men who visit the house on weekends. There is lots of drinking that goes on and mum doesn't seem to be too concerned about leaving her alone with them. Mum can be often heard shouting and swearing at the girl and I don’t think she is fit to care for her.”
It is estimated the one in 20 children in the UK have experienced contact sexual abuse2. The NSPCC is calling for a UK government-commissioned, nationwide prevalence study on child abuse and neglect – sooner rather than later – so they can understand the true scale of this problem.
John Cameron, Head of Helplines at the NSPCC explained: “It is deeply worrying that so many children are potentially being exposed to such a devastating experience, but at the same time it also suggests that as a society we are much more alert to the risks and much more willing to come forward and share our concerns.
“Sexual abuse can do huge damage to a child’s life and left untreated will often haunt them long into adulthood. It is therefore vital that anyone who suspects a young person is in danger contacts the authorities or gets in touch with us through our dedicated Helpline.”
To support the NSPCC’s Christmas campaign simply text ‘NSPCC 4’ to 84010 to donate £4, or visitwww.nspcc.org.uk/derby. Text costs include your donation of £4 plus your standard network rate. The NSPCC will receive 100% of your donation