NSPCC Northern Ireland Launches First Annual NI ‘Talk PANTS’ Fortnight

NSPCC Northern Ireland has announced the first annual NI Talk PANTS Fortnight, which will run from 6 – 17 May 2024.

The Talk PANTS campaign aims to empower parents, carers and professionals to have simple age-appropriate conversations with children aged 3-11 years old, to help them recognise their rights to their own bodies and to say no to unwanted touch and to encourage them to tell someone if they feel uncomfortable.

The NSPCC campaign began in the UK in 2013, and in 2018 Talk PANTS and its colourful character, Pantosaurus, arrived in Northern Ireland.  Local campaigns in Northern Ireland were delivered with support from the Public Health Agency (PHA) and community partners, and since 2018, Talk PANTS has been rolled out across all five Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Trusts – the first time a nation in the UK has had full delivery of the campaign.

To create a legacy from these successful local campaigns, Talk PANTS has now evolved into an annual Northern Ireland-wide awareness fortnight, which is launching this month.

Many primary schools across Northern Ireland discuss the NSPCC’s Talk PANTS rules in their PSHE lessons, and new and updated materials and resources have been produced to celebrate Talk PANTS Fortnight.

The key Talk PANTS messages for children are:

P – Privates are privates.

A – Always remember your body belongs to you.

N – No means no.

T – Talk about secrets that upset you.

S – Speak up, someone can help.

Talk PANTS Fortnight, aims to further raise awareness with parents and carers, so that they are able to support these conversations at home as well.

Talking to your child about sexual abuse might feel daunting. But Talk PANTS tools and resources can help adults with simple ways to open conversations aimed at preventing child abuse in a clear, non-scary and fun way.

The NSPCC website has a range of Talk PANTS resources for parents, carers and children, including guides in a number of different languages and for people with a disability. There are also guides for foster carers, parents with a learning disability, parents of children with autism, and a film for deaf children.

You can find these on the NSPCC website – www.nspcc.org.uk/pants

Throughout the Fortnight, there will be Talk PANTS information and advice posted daily on the NSPCC NI Facebook page: (@nspccnorthernireland).

Margaret Gallagher, NSPCC Strategic Services Manager, Local Campaigns, said:” We know that one inthree3 children sexually abused by an adult didn’t tell someone at the time and 90% of children who are abused, are abused by someone they know. This is why the Talk PANTS campaign is so important.

“Since 2018, thousands of children and families in Northern Ireland have benefited from Talk PANTS and we are holding this annual awareness fortnight to make sure that all parents and communities know about the campaign and continue to have these conversations in school, in their community and at home, in order to help keep children safe.

“Talk PANTS helps children to understand that they have a right to safety and helps support them to recognise when something is not okay and how to tell someone if they are upset or worried.

“We’re encouraging everyone to get involved and follow the NSPCC NI Facebook page during Talk PANTS Fortnight and reshare the daily information and advice with their families, friends and colleagues, so that together we can reach even more of the community across NI.”

NI Talk PANTS Fortnight takes place from 6 – 17 May 2024. Information and support about talking PANTS can be found at: www.nspcc.org.uk/pants There will also be daily posts on the NSPCC NI Facebook page. You can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 for advice, or email [email protected]. If you are an organisation that would like PANTS parents’ booklets or posters, please contact: [email protected]

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