Safeguarding: How to avoid victim-blaming language in schools

Guidance on how to avoid victim-blaming language and behaviours when supporting children who have been abused or exploited online has been published.

The 18-page non-statutory document has been produced by the UK Council for Internet Safety and is aimed at helping those working in schools and other settings to respond appropriately when discussing the online experiences of students.

Advice from the guidance can also be incorporated into schools’ safeguarding and child protection policies.

The guidance says that victim-blaming language or behaviour can be especially dangerous for young people who often feel they are to blame for what has happened to them. We can unwittingly reinforce these feelings of blame.

The guidance states: “One of the greatest barriers to a child or young person seeking help and reporting online abuse is feeling they are to blame for something that has happened to them.”

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