A ground-breaking campaign to help keep children safe from abuse is being officially launched in Jersey this week.
The national PANTS campaign, which features Pantosaurus the animated dinosaur, to get parents talking to their children about sexual abuse, as well as a new Helpline, will be launched on Friday 13 April.
The campaign will be run by the Jersey Safeguarding Partnership Board in partnership with the NSPCC and partners throughout the States of Jersey.
The joint campaign aims to protect children from sexual abuse by encouraging parents, carers and professionals to have conversations with children in an age-appropriate way about how to stay safe from sexual abuse.
The year-long PANTS campaign will be launched at a children’s event taking place at Tamba Park, on Friday 13 April at 10am – 2pm, as well as the new Helpline project which aims to provide more localised support to any member of the public or any professional/practitioner.
Pantosaurus is flying into Jersey from the UK to attend the launch of the event at Tamba Park and further public events are being organised during this year-long campaign as well as raising awareness in schools and nurseries around the Island.
The pants-wearing dinosaur is on a mission to keep every child in Jersey safe and help parents talk to their children about difficult and sensitive subjects by promoting the PANTS rule - Privates are private, Always remember your body belongs to you, No means no, Talk about secrets that upset you and Speak up – someone can help.
On the same day details of the new Helpline will be revealed. The Jersey Safeguarding Partnership Board, in partnership with the NSPCC has developed the existing national Helpline to offer a more Jersey-focused response.
24/7 Free Helpline
For the first time, trained staff will be available 24/7 via phone and online, and will have access to a wealth of local information, allowing a greater level of community signposting. The Helpline is free to call from Jersey and callers can remain anonymous if they wish.
The aim is to encourage more people to contact the Helpline at the earliest opportunity to explore any concerns they may have about a child’s safety or wellbeing or to ask for advice and support.
Further events planned
A week later, on 20 April, there will be a professional’s launch, repeated in the morning and afternoon, at the Town Hall St Helier, where guest speakers will be speaking about child sexual abuse.
Booking is available through Safeguarding Partnership Board Jersey and is free and open to any professional working with children.
NSPCC Jersey Service Centre Manager, Jacky Moon said: “Most parents now recognise that they need to speak to their young children about the dangers they may face from sexual abuse, both in the online and real world, as they grow up.
“However, the reality of having these conversations can be both daunting and very uncomfortable. That is why the NSPCC has created PANTS and continues to develop new ways for Pantosaurus to help young children to learn about how to stay safe from sexual abuse.”
Glenys Johnston, Chair of Jersey’s Safeguarding Partnership Board added: “We are delighted to be working with the NSPCC to bring the PANTS campaign to Jersey.
We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect. We are hoping that by promoting and supporting the NSPCC’s Helpline in Jersey, we will be able to help children and families earlier before problems escalate.”
The PANTS campaign is designed to teach children that their body belongs to them, they have the right to say no and to tell someone they trust if they’re ever worried about anything.
The full version of the ‘Pantosaurus’ animation is available online at nspcc.org.uk/pants
The PANTS campaign, has already helped over 400,000 parents throughout the UK talk to their children about sexual abuse since it launched three years ago.
The catchy animation, made by Aardman, creators of Morph, Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, which features dinosaurs explaining how to stay safe from abuse, will be launched throughout Jersey as part of a year-long campaign
The film is aimed at four to eight-year-olds as talking to children about staying safe is most effective when taught at an early age.
SPB / NSPCC PANTS Campaign Steering Group