THE FAMILY SUPPORT and counselling service CARI has said it has recorded a significant jump in the number of parents contacting it over a young child’s sexualised behaviour.
The organisation’s annual report for 2011 shows a 57 per cent increase in calls citing sexualised behaviour in children aged 12 and under as their primary concern.
CARI also noticed a significant shift in the leading primary concern among callers from intra-familial abuse to extra-familial abuse (ie alleged abuse by a person who is not a member of the child’s family but is acquainted with the child some other way, such as through school or sports clubs).
Last year, CARI received 398 calls concerning intra-familial abuse (down 6 per cent on 2010) and 342 about extra-familial abuse (up 42 per cent).
CARI’s report also says that it provided 57 per cent more pre-trial and trial accompaniments for children and teenagers who were giving evidence in court last year than in 2010; 12 minors who gave evidence to the courts and their families were assisted by CARI last year.
The annual report says that CARI provided more than 2,650 hours of therapy for children and their families last year – up 13 per cent on 2010.