An estimated 520, 000 children are abused or neglected in the UK ever year, according to a report launched today by the NSPCC.
But the report, entitled How Safer Are Our Children?, suggests that just one in nine of those children, or 58,000,. are under the active protection of their local authorities.
“While services to protect children continue to improve they will only ever reach a fraction of the children who are abused,” the charity claims.
Describing the gap as “frightening”, the NSPCC called for earlier intervention in cases of suspected abuse.
Head of Strategy Lisa Harker said:
“Child protection services are working in overdrive and our report shows the UK is making progress in some areas. But the hidden extent of child abuse and neglect revealed in this report is a national scandal. When we discover abuse we must do everything we can to protect children from further harm and help them recover. But it’s vital to prevent abuse from happening to so many children in the first place. We need to shift policy across the UK towards early intervention – and set a new course that can stop cruelty blighting so many children’s lives.”