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NSPCC report asks 'How Safe are our Children?'

Children’s charity the NSPCC has published a new report revealing that around 520,000 children are abused or neglected at home each year, but only one in nine are protected by local authorities.

Services to protect children are improving but the charity warns they will only ever reach a fraction of the children who are abused. It is therefore calling for a new approach focusing more on prevention as well as protection to close the gap.

It has launched the UK's first ever national child abuse tracker 'How Safe are our Children', setting out 19 indicators of child protection in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The NSPCC will now monitor progress against the indicators on a regular basis.

The report brings together a robust set of child protection data, giving a clear picture of how many children are being harmed in the UK.

"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,” Lisa Harker, NSPCC head of strategy, and one author of the report. “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."

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