The NSPCC has launched a new "green cross code against sexual abuse" in an effort to ensure parents talk to their children about the risks of sexual abuse.

After a new YouGov poll showed that only half of parents of 5-17-year-olds have spoken to their sons or daughters about the issue, the NSPCC has created the 'Underwear Rule'.

The charity is encouraging parents to use the mnemonic PANTS as a starting point for what over two-fifths of those surveyed described as "a very difficult conversation":
Privates are private
Always remember your body belongs to you
No means no
Talk about secrets that upset you
Speak up, someone can help

Simple but important conversation

NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless explained: "The shocking case of Savile has horrified many parents and understandably it has heightened concerns around sexual abuse. But most abuse is closer to home and if we are to tackle this issue we must prevent it before it even starts. To do this we must educate our children about staying safe and speaking out.

"Parents have told us they lack confidence in approaching this difficult but important issue. We’ve worked with parent groups to devise a simple, age appropriate way of making sure children speak up if something happens. It’s really easier than you may think and you don’t have to mention abuse or sex at all. Just ask them to remember the ‘Underwear Rule’.

"Most parents still think that stranger danger is the main threat facing children from the adult world but most abuse is committed by someone known to the child with stranger abuse being very rare. This means traditional messages like ‘don’t take sweets from strangers’ are important but don’t work for much of the abuse that is occurring."

The six week advertising campaign will be aired on nearly 60 local radio stations throughout the UK and includes a special video which you can watch here:
 

For more information visit www.nspcc.org.uk/underwearrule