The NSPCC has revealed two referrals are made every week to local agencies in Sussex over fears of sexual abuse.

The Children’s charity revealed last year it referred an average of two contacts a week in Sussex to police and children’s services.

These calls were from members of the public concerned a child was being sexually abused.

Last year the NSPCC’s helpline referred 120 calls and emails to local agencies in Sussex.

This new figure is an increase up from 96 contacts the year before.

There were also a further 85 contacts where Helpline staff gave advice about sexual abuse against young people.

UK-wide, the charity made 4,677 referrals to children’s services or the police in 2016/17.

This is equivalent to almost 13 a day.

A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities.

This doesn’t have to be physical contact and it can happen online, for example through live streaming.

One caller who phoned the NSPCC helpline said:

“I am concerned that a young girl in the neighbourhood might be at risk of sexual abuse by men who visit the house on weekends.

“There is lots of drinking that goes on and mum doesn’t seem to be too concerned about leaving her alone with them.

“Mum can be often heard shouting and swearing at the girl and I don’t think she is fit to care for her.”

It is estimated that one in 20 children in the UK have experienced contact sexual abuse.

The NSPCC is calling for a new UK government-commissioned, nationwide prevalence study on child abuse and neglect, to increase our understanding of the scale of this problem.

The NSPCC has also launched the ‘Light Up Christmas for Children’ appeal.

To support the NSPCC’s Christmas campaign text ‘NSPCC 4’ to 70744 to donate £4.

Text costs include the donation of £4 plus your standard network rate.

The NSPCC receive 100% of these donations.

Earlier this year the NSPCC child safeguarding service in Sussex recieved £5,000 from police click here to read more.