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Children are calling ChildLine in fear of UK terrorist attack

This news post is over 8 years old

The NSPCC has reported over 100 calls from frightened youngsters regarding Paris attacks

There has been an “avalanche” of calls to ChildLine from worried youngsters following the Paris terrorist attacks.

The NSPCC, which operates the children’s help and advice line, has reported it has received over 100 phone calls in the last week in connection with the atrocities from children as young as nine years old.

Some have told counsellors at call centres, such as those based in Glasgow and Aberdeen, that they are worried about an attack in the UK while a number from ethnic minority backgrounds have complained about being racially bullied.

I have heard that ISIS are in the UK and are planning a deadly attack.

One girl, who is only 12 years old, told ChildLine: “I have heard that ISIS are in the UK and are planning a deadly attack.

“I don’t feel safe any more and am having nightmares.

“These worries are in my mind all the time and I can’t get them out.”

A 17-year-old college student said she was scared to go out because of racist repercussions.

“People judge me because I am Muslim and go to mosque,” she said.

“I feel everyone thinks I am a terrorist even though I disagree with terrorist actions.

“I wear a hijab and have suffered racist comments most of my life but when something like this happens you just want to hide.”

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said it is essential children are given reassurance and support.

“The attacks in Paris were atrocious, and our thoughts are with all of those who have been affected by these hideous attacks on innocent lives,” he said.

“The avalanche of calls to ChildLine about this tragedy only adds to the feelings of fear and sadness that these evil attacks have prompted around the world.

“Many of the victims were young people and that will have heightened the fears of those who have seen others their age brutally murdered.

“It is crucial that children can talk about their feelings following these senseless killings, and are given reassurance and support.”