Christmas appeal: abused children need your help

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The Independent Online
At the end of a year in which The Independent has campaigned for victims of child abuse to be given a voice, we would like you to support our Victims of Abuse appeal to help children whose lives have been devastated.

Our Christmas appeal is in support of projects run by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, including its helpline, and gives direct support to help children who have been abused and to help to prevent future abuse.

The abuse suffered for years by more than 100 children in Clwyd was first reported by The Independent and was the launch-pad for a campaign which eventually won government action to tighten standards in children's homes.

But countless stories of children in the community or in residential care have never been heard. The NSPCC, Britain's leading child protection charity, runs more than 120 projects throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland offering counselling and therapy to abused children as well as carrying out its own investigations into allegations of child abuse. The charity relies on public donations for 85 per cent of its income.

We would like you to contribute between now and Christmas. Your money will go to help projects such as the NSPCC's freephone helpline, which take 1,200 calls a week, the London Investigation Team, which works with police to investigate paedophiles, and the Kaleidoscope Project in Newcastle, which treats children who have abused other children.

t Anyone concerned about a child's welfare can contact the NSPCC child protection helpline at any time free on 0800 800 500.