A child abuse survivor has given her backing to a new campaign in North Ayrshire which encourages the public to ask: "What if You’re Right?"

Launched nationally by Child Protection Committees Scotland and Barnardo’s Scotland, the campaign urges people to really look, listen and notice signs that a child may be being sexually abused, and report concerns immediately.

Titled ‘What If You’re Right?’, the campaign has been designed with input from adult survivors of sexual abuse across Scotland, and highlights both the immediate and long term consequences of child sexual abuse.

In support of the campaign, the North Ayrshire health and social care partnership (HSCP) is urging concerned adults not to ignore the signs that something is seriously wrong for a child.

Vicci, a child sexual abuse survivor who contributed to the campaign, endured sexual abuse by members of her extended family for many years, from a very young age.

She said: “I was abused until I was about 10. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t abused, where I wasn’t touched, where I wasn’t made to do things.

"That got progressively worse. I was probably younger than eight when they started raping me.”

Vicci is clear that the experience of being sexually abused as a child has had long-lasting ramifications.

“It’s impacted my life in ways I could never have imagined," she said.

"I’ve been in very dark places, I’ve been suicidal, I’ve been hospitalised.

"Certain sounds and smells can make me physically sick. Even particular words can trigger flashbacks and put me in a vulnerable and unsafe position.

"I struggle with a fear of never knowing who’s round the next corner, and trust is a huge issue too.

"When those people, the abusers, have told you that they love you but then hurt you terribly, how do you then trust other people?”

What If You’re Right? asks the general public to really look, listen and notice signs that all may not be well with a child, and to take immediate action if they suspect the child might be being sexually abused.

Both Child Protection Committees Scotland and Barnardo’s Scotland understand that people can be hesitant about acting on a gut feeling, but Martin Crewe, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, is clear that taking action is essential to help prevent lifelong damage.

He said: “It’s important that adults know how to spot the signs of child abuse and exploitation, and how to do something about it.

“If you are worried about a child or young person, you can visit the Child Protection Scotland campaign website for more resources on what to do – including the Barnardo’s-hosted centre of expertise on child sexual abuse, which has developed resources to support adults working with children.”

Councillor Margaret Johnson, cabinet member for health and social care at North Ayrshire Council, said: “It’s everyone’s job to keep children safe from harm, and we all need to play our part to help limit the long-term damage child sexual abuse can cause.

"Don’t wait for someone else to take action - report concerns yourself. Yes, it can be scary to speak up, but we need to be brave and not ignore signs that there’s a potential problem.

“Anyone who is worried that a child might be being sexually abused can visit childprotectionnorthayrshire.info/cpc for information about how to take action in North Ayrshire.

"But if you fear that a child is in immediate danger, you should call Police Scotland right away.”