ON THE NET
I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone
number, parents' work address / telephone number, or the name and location
of my school with out my parents' permission.
I will tell my
parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel
I will never agree
to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking
with my parents.
If my parents
agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and
bring my mother or father along.
I will never send
a person my picture or anything else without first checking with my parents.
I will not respond
to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable.
If I receive a message like that, I will tell my parents right away so
that they can contact the online service.
I will talk with
my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide
upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be
online, and appropriate areas for me to visit. I will not break these
rules or access other areas without their permission.
I will not download
anything from anyone I don't know. Our thanks to www.missingkids.co.uk
for the use of these safety rules!
Some of you have
been writing to me and telling me about bullies who are horrible to you
at school, so I spoke to my friends at "Childline" and they
have given me some advice to help you.
Tell, tell, TELL.
Practice what you want to say Keep a note or diary of what is happening.
Don't give up Ask your parents to visit the school. Talk over what to
do with a friend, a teacher, your Mum or Dad or someone you trust. Remember
that teachers have to listen carefully when a child tells them about being
can be found on the "Childline" website at www.childline.org.uk,
but you can also call them on 0800 1111 any time for more help.
I hope this all
helps and don't forget you can always email me if you want a friend to
talk to at email@example.com
IN THE HOME
We had a really interesting talk at school today about something called
domestic violence. The teacher told us that some people's parents hit
each other and sometimes they even hit their children.
I think it's horrible, I am very lucky that this doesn't happen in my
My mum and dad shout at each other sometimes, but they never hit each
other and they certainly wouldn't hit me.
Dad says a good row sometimes clears the air if you're upset about something,
but he doesn't believe in hitting people.
I wish he didn't believe in stopping my pocket money when I've been naughty
but, sadly, he does!
I was really shocked to find out, though, that this sort of violence does
happen in a lot of homes. It is more than just arguing, it's really frightening
for children and it's often covered up and kept a secret so that nobody
outside the home knows about it. That must be so horrible to have a secret
like that and feel you can't tell anyone.
Apparently it happens to quite a lot of families but the teacher said
it is not normal and it is not OK. She said if it goes on in your home
you should know that it is not your fault and that there are people who
can help you. It is really important to remember that you are not alone.
Sometimes this type of violence is obvious because children actually see
or hear one their parents hurting or threatening the other one. But parents
sometimes try to cover up the violence too. I suppose they must do this
to try to protect their children or because they are ashamed of what is
The teacher said sometimes children just feel that something is very wrong
at home but they don't know what it is. But she told us that there are
some signs that might help you to recognise if there is domestic violence
in your home. I thought this was really important information so I have
written it down.
Do your parents spend a lot of time arguing or shouting? Perhaps one of
them loses their temper very easily.
Does one of your parents have a lot of accidents? Do they often have injuries
or bruises or look uncomfortable or in pain?
Do things in the house, such as furniture, get broken very often?
Does one of your parents spend a lot of time in bed or locked in their
room during the daytime? Maybe your other parent makes excuses for this
saying that it is due to illness or being tired.
If there is domestic violence, or there are signs of it, in your house,
how does it make you feel?
Do you feel afraid that one of your parents is getting hurt or that you
might get hurt yourself?
Perhaps you are scared that your parents will split up.
Maybe you want to defend the person who is being hurt or perhaps you want
to excuse the person doing the hurting.
You may find it confusing and distressing because your parents are the
people you love and should be able to trust, and yet one of them is hurting
Does it make you behave differently?
Perhaps you feel frustrated or angry and you want to take it out on others.
Maybe you see violent behaviour as normal.
can you do about it?
Remember that you are not alone. There are people who can help you. There
are special people you can talk to who will understand. If things are
really bad at home there are places where you can go to be safe. It's
really important to remember that if you ask for help it doesn't mean
that you will be separated from both your parents and have to go into
Maybe you are worried that there is something wrong but you don’t
want to speak about it to people you don’t know. Try talking to
somebody from your family besides your parents. Perhaps an aunt, uncle
or grandparent will be able to help you.
SAFETY ON THE STREETS
When Dot’s Daily spoke to Chief Inspector Tim Bonnett at Herfordshire
Police, he said it was very unusual for children to go missing after being
taken by a stranger. However there are some simple rules that children
can follow to keep themselves safe on the streets:
1. If you go out without your parents, or a trusted adult, take a friend
2. Always tell your parents where you are going and what time you expect
to be back. If they aren't home leave them a message somewhere where
they can see straight away where you are.
3. Never get into a vehicle or go anywhere with someone you don’t
know well – even if you do know them, be very careful.
4. Know your name, address and telephone number off by heart.
5. Always check first with your parents or a trusted adult before accepting
anything from anyone, even someone you know.
6. If a stranger walks up to you, walk or run away where there are other
people maybe or go somewhere you see as safe.
7. If an adult or stranger does or says anything that makes you feel
uncomfortable or scared, walk or run away somewhere safe and make sure
you tell your parents.