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What boys talk about to ChildLine

July 2009

What boys talk about to ChildLine ChildLine Casenotes is a series of reports based on analysis of calls to ChildLine, a free confidential helpline for children and young people in the UK provided by the NSPCC.

What boys talk about to ChildLine (PDF, 332KB) is our latest report and is based on detailed analysis of calls to ChildLine from April 2007 to March 2008.

Key findings

  • Between 2002/03 and 2007/08, the annual number of boys counselled by ChildLine more than doubled, rising from 24,823 to 58,311.

  • Over the past five years, the boy-to-girl ratio of callers has increased, changing from one boy for every four girl callers to one boy for every two girl callers.

  • Bullying was the single biggest reason for boys calling ChildLine in 2007/08, making up 22 per cent of boys’ calls or 12,568 calls.

  • Family relationship problems constituted the largest additional reason for boys calling ChildLine. Twenty-two per cent of calls mentioned family relationship problems as a main or additional concern.

  • In 2007/08, 4,780 boys rang ChildLine to disclose sexual abuse. Of these, 1,803 rang to report that they had been raped. The most common perpetrator of sexual abuse was their father.

  • Boys’ calls about sexuality have more than tripled in the last five years, increasing from 980 per year in 2002/03 to 3,510 calls in 2007/08.

  • Boys’ calls about loneliness, sadness and isolation have increased more than fivefold, from 334 in 2002/03 to 1,817 in 2007/08.

  • The number of homeless boys has doubled in the last five years, with 1,002 homeless boys ringing ChildLine in 2007/08. In addition, 697 boys had run away from home.

  • Of the boys who gave this information, nearly half (46 per cent) said they had not told anyone about their problem before calling ChildLine.

What boys talk about to ChildLine (PDF, 332KB)