The Underwear Rule campaign
Parents and carers can have simple conversations to help keep children safe from sexual abuse
We believe that everyone has a role to play to help prevent the sexual abuse of children and are encouraging parents and carers to teach their children
the Underwear Rule to help them stay safe.
New NSPCC data shows there has been a 16% rise in reports to police involving the sexual abuse of children under 11.
It's not an easy subject to talk about, but the Underwear Rule helps parents have simple conversations with their children without using scary words or mentioning sex.
Watch our campaign video 'Private Parts'
Children must be protected from sexual abuse
There have been a number of stories in the media recently about child sexual abuse in previous decades. But sadly it's not a thing of the past.
We know that:
- 1 in 5 of all recorded sexual offences against children involve under-11s
- 1 in 3 children who were sexually abused by an adult did not tell anyone else at the time
- 9 out of 10 children knew their abuser.
So while conversations about "stranger danger" are important, they are not enough to keep children safe.
We believe that parents and carers can help their children stay safe by teaching them the Underwear Rule.
Simple conversations can help keep children safe
- their body belongs to them
- they have a right to say no, and
- they should always tell an adult if they're upset or worried.
Parents often tell us they find it difficult to talk about these issues, so we've worked with them to create an easy-to-remember guide Talk PANTS and other tips and advice to help parents explain and children understand the key points of the Underwear Rule.
Netmums support Underwear Rule campaign
"I'd recommend it, especially for little ones from 4 upwards. It's perfect to teach them what's ok and what's not" - a Netmum.
Netmums support the Underwear Rule as a useful guide to help parents talk to their children about being safe without scaring them.
Parents recommend the Underwear Rule guide
A YouGov survey and stories from parents across the UK reveal that the Underwear Rule is helping them feel more confident and better prepared in talking to their children about keeping safe from sexual abuse.
Real life: Underwear Rule campaign helps reveal abuse
Mum Rachel talked to her 3-year-old daughter Hannah about how to keep safe after seeing the Underwear Rule campaign. She was shocked when Hannah revealed she had been abused by a family friend.
CEO Peter Wanless: "it's a small conversation but one that can make a big difference"
NSPCC's CEO Peter Wanless writes that the hard conversations that parents need to have with children are not as difficult as they think.
Listen: The Underwear Rule campaign radio ads
Learn the Underwear Rule
Simple conversations can help keep children safe from abuse. Talk PANTS and you've got it covered.
Information for professionals
Read about our research, statistics, policy and guidance on child sexual abuse.
Follow us on Twitter
Follow #talkPANTS on Twitter and join the conversation about the Underwear Rule and helping children keep safe from abuse.
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Are you a child?
Do you need to talk? Call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit us online.
Worried about a child?
Don’t wait until you’re certain. Contact our trained helpline counsellors for 24/7 help, advice and support.