When I was working with children, one of my subjects was PHSE, Personal, Health and Social Education, and it covered all aspects of what children might experience and to help them build strategies to safeguard themselves, and to give them contact details of organisations who are there to helpline, such as Childline.
Child Protection was just one of the sessions, although actually Child Protection was at the forefront of all of the sessions.
We would discuss how to keep safe, not to keep secrets and that it is ok to talk to someone.
When you are teaching children you often have to face some difficult situations, particularly if you are discussing things that are very close to home.
Of course part of PHSE, is about the subject of abuse, be that verbal or physical, sadly, and this is the uncomfortable bit, statistics do show that abuse of children is often carried out by family members and that includes grandparents.
As grandparents we can not pretend this is not the case, we have to accept that there are some family members who do hurt children.
It is beyond my comprehension in any way how this happens but I would be a fool not to acknowledge it, when I am interviewed it comes up all the time, and I try to get it in first. The facts are that there is a small minority of grandparents who for this reason should not be in their grandchildren’s lives, equally it is fact that for the same reasons there are some parents who should not be in their children lives.
It is also true to say that many families are falsely accused of all sorts of terrible things.
The care and well-being of all children is paramount. If you are a child reading this and in need of help ring Childline on 08001111.