Preventing child abuse in Devon and Cornwall

21 February 2024

Devon and Cornwall are supporting the awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA) campaign – Stop it Now – in March. This national campaign is led by the child protection charity, Lucy Faithfull Foundation, and works to deter people from online offending to keep children safe.

Stop it Now offers a confidential helpline, live chat and secure messaging service for anyone with concerns about CSA and its prevention plus online self-help resources for people concerned about their thoughts and behaviour towards children.

This is the third year of the national campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the law around viewing sexual images of children, the serious consequences of offending and to signpost anyone in Devon and Cornwall with concerns about child sexual abuse to the Stop It Now helpline.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation reported that more than 13,000 people contacted Stop It Now in the South West in 2023 with concerns about their own or someone else’s sexual thoughts or behaviour towards children. The campaign hopes to highlight a major and concerning issue in the UK as a whole, with nearly 218,000 people contacting the helpline with concerns about sexual thoughts or behaviour nationwide.

“Cornwall is committed to working collaboratively with partners to protect children from sexual abuse. The trauma of this abuse is significant – it impacts children’s health and wellbeing, families and communities.

“Without the right support, we know that trauma can have lasting impacts into adulthood. Practitioners across multiple agencies can identify children at risk and ensure that they are safeguarded. It is important that we take a proactive, preventative approach and do all we can to reach those at risk of harming children.”

Cllr Carol Mould, Portfolio Holder – Community Safety, Cornwall Council

Our support for the campaign hopes to raise awareness of the scale and nature of online child sexual abuse in Devon and Cornwall, which includes viewing sexual images of children and online grooming.

Stop it Now specifically aims to raise awareness that viewing sexual images of under-18s is illegal, causes huge harm to children, and that there are serious consequences for the viewer including arrest, imprisonment and job loss. Last year’s campaign saw visits to the Stop It Now website increase by 67% in Devon and by 271% in Cornwall, compared with the same period in the previous year.

“Online child sexual abuse is a growing problem across Devon and Cornwall, as it is across the rest of the UK.

“We hope this campaign will help galvanise people in the local area with concerns about their own or someone else’s sexual thoughts or behaviour to get the anonymous and confidential support available from our Stop It Now helpline.”

Donald Findlater, Director of Stop it Now helpline, Lucy Faithfull Foundation

The campaign aims to signpost anyone with concerns about their own or someone else’s sexual thoughts or behaviour in Devon and Cornwall to the anonymous and confidential Stop it Now helpline, run by The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, to prevent child sexual abuse – before it happens.

The Devon and Cornwall-wide campaign will run across print, broadcast and social media throughout March 2024. It will also include four lunchtime webinars for multi-agency professionals, hosted by the Devon Safer Children Partnership. The webinars can be booked here and please email [email protected] if you have any queries about them.

#StopItNow Child Sexual Abuse Webinars

Monday 4 March 2024, 13:00-14:00
Liz Jones from the CSA Centre on the scale and nature of child sexual abuse (CSA) and the impact on children and young people.

Monday 11 March 2024, 13:00-14:00
Rachael Courage, Child Protection Chair, on courageous conversations around disclosure.

Monday 18 March 2024, 13:00-14:00
Louise Barraclough and Lyndsay Howell, Devon and Cornwall Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) on The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) as a place of hope, healing, holistic physical and psychological care and an important part of the therapeutic journey to recovery

Monday 25 March 2024, 13:00-14:00
Donald Findlater, Director of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s Stop It Now campaign on prevention, deterrence and disruption.

If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s sexual thoughts or behaviour, contact Stop It Now on 0808 1000 900 or visit for anonymous advice and support.

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