The NSPCC recently launched 'Don't Hide It', a major initiative urging children and young people in Fermanagh to speak out against all forms of child sexual abuse.
Figures show that 28 per cent of children on the Child Protection Register in the Sperrin Lakeland Trust area are there because of sexual abuse.
ChildLine have also revealed that children report rape more than any other type of sexual harm.
Over eight and a half thousand calls (8,637) about sexual abuse were made last year to ChildLine, the 24-hour helpline for children and young people run by the NSPCC. And for the first time, just over half of these calls (51 per cent) were about rape.
Nearly four and a half thousand (4,414) distressed children and young people called ChildLine over 2004/2005 describing rape. They included: 842 by their natural father; 421 by a stranger; 285 by a boyfriend
In all, 86 per cent of the reported rapists were known to the child. Eight in ten (80 per cent) of reports were made by girls and nine in ten (91 per cent) reported rapists were male.
Martin Crummey, acting divisional director for NSPCC in Northern Ireland said: "It is dreadful to think that a child calls ChildLine on average once every hour to talk about rape and other types of sexual abuse.
"Children have phoned in to talk in confidence about having been raped in toilets, phone-boxes, cars, bedrooms, bushes, parks and elsewhere," he explained
"However it is important to note the children and young people who report these incidents to the PSNI or who phone ChildLine are those who have found the strength to speak out.
Many others feel unable to do this. NSPCC research shows that although one in six children will be sexually abused before they reach their sixteenth birthday, nearly three quarters of these victims (72%) tell no-one about it at the time."
Don't hide it is the NSPCC's latest drive as part of its FULL STOP Campaign urging children to speak out on all forms of sex abuse.
The NSPCC has set up a new website,
to help young people build confidence and find out more about this abuse and understand that abuse is never their fault.
The site will act as a safe online 'community' where they can talk about sex abuse and learn how it can be stopped.
A new film and print ads showing 'false face' masks hanging in children's rooms will encourage young people to visit the site.
The masks, which look like real faces, illustrate how many children keep sex abuse a secret.
The ads advise "If you are being sexually abused, you don't have to hide it anymore.
NSPCC urge children 'Don't Hide It'
Publication Fermanagh Herald
Date July 05, 2006
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