Turn the Page
Treating young people with harmful sexual behaviour and preventing sexual harm to other children
We are helping to change the thinking and behaviour of 5 to 17-year-old boys and girls who have shown sexually harmful behaviour.
We're testing a combination of therapeutic approaches to help them focus on their strengths.
This will better equip them to form positive relationships.
Building on strengths and self-esteem to form
We believe that young people can best overcome their difficulties with harmful sexual behaviour by:
- focusing on their strengths
- raising their self-esteem
- helping them take responsibility for their actions.
We meet with each young person for up to 30 sessions where we help them identify the reasons they have for behaving in a sexually harmful way.
We help them focus on their strengths and positive qualities as well as on the impact of their behaviour so they can be better equipped to form healthy and positive relationships.
Our aim is for each young person to meet with the same one or two people throughout the sessions.
Afterwards, we hope the young person will not only be able to forge healthy personal relationships in future, but also be able to take part in school and extra-curricular activities and participate more fully in family life.
Joe* and Alison's* story: changing behaviour
Joe* first showed signs of harmful sexual behaviour when he was 12 years old.
Turn the Page has helped him take responsibility for his behaviour and understand how to control his feelings.
Alison* describes Joe's* behaviour:
"I first started to notice changes in my son Joe’s* behaviour just before Christmas in 2011 when he was 12 years old.
"We'd all be sitting watching television and he'd start touching himself. We'd tell him to stop but he wouldn't.
"We would also find him spying on his sister in the shower and bathroom and masturbating, or on the family computer looking at pornography.
"We realised that Joe needed outside help after we walked in on him encouraging my grandchildren to take their underwear off. That's when we realised then how serious it was.
"Our social worker introduced us to Mike and Katie at the NSPCC in the summer of 2012. When I first heard that it was the NSPCC I was really worried because I thought they just helped children who were being abused and we knew that wasn't the case with Joe.
"They carried out an assessment of Joe and said that they wanted him to complete a programme for children displaying harmful sexual behaviour.
"We started to see a change in Joe’s behaviour about two or three months into his work with Mike and Katie.
"Gradually we stopped using the locks on the bathroom and bedroom doors when we were getting changed or showered and felt safe that he wasn't going to come in.
"He now understands boundaries and is very quick to identify inappropriate touching. He’s taken responsibility for what was going on and he now understands how to control himself too.
"I don't like to think about where we'd be if we hadn't had NSPCC's help. I'd come to a brick wall with Joe's behaviour and just didn’t know how to help him further.
"For other parents out there, whose sons are perhaps displaying similar behaviour to Joe, I’d wholeheartedly recommend working with the NSPCC. They can help in so many more ways than people know about."
Joe* talks about how Turn the Page has helped him:
"I first met Mike and Katie when I was 13. I didn't really want to talk to them at the start so I kept quiet. I'd never heard of the NSPCC before.
"Life at home had been ok but I had been fighting with my brother and sisters a lot. My mum was upset with me because I told her I would stop touching myself in front of other people but I hadn't.
"I started going to the NSPCC centre every week. I would sit and talk to Mike and Katie and they would ask me questions. In the first session they asked me to draw a timeline of things that I'd done in the past.
"Mike and Katie have been helping me talk through my sexual thoughts and the sexual things I was doing. It felt ok talking about it because it meant I got things out of my head.
"When I go to the centre sometimes we get a big piece of paper and we write words down on it. Words about how I'm feeling and things like that. We write down the sexual things I've done at home.
"We talk about what's ok and what's not ok. We go through stories of things that people might do to each other and we decide whether what they're doing is ok or not ok. Mike and Katie have taught me about appropriate and inappropriate touching.
"Since I've been working with Mike and Katie I've stopped going into my family's bedrooms and bathroom and spying on them when they're there. Now I know that's wrong.
"Going to the NSPCC centre has taught me how to control my sexual feelings. I feel better after going there. It feels good to have all the sexual thoughts out of my head. I know what to do with them now.
"Mike says that it's taken a lot of guts to sort my feelings out like I've done. I'm really glad that Mike and Katie have helped me.
"If I met another boy who was doing the same sexual things I was doing I would tell them it's wrong. I know what it's like and I've been through it and I know it's wrong now."
* Names and identifying features have been changed to protect the family's identity
Influencing new ways of working
By evaluating our work, we will be able to advise other organisations on the most effective methods to help these young people, and prevent further instances of sexual abuse.
Find out more about our work in this area
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Do you need to talk? Call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit us online.
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We provide therapeutic and preventative services to tackle child sexual abuse.