This section includes information and support for:
Children and young people being
If you are a child or young person who is being abused it is important
that you talk to someone you trust and get support and help for what
is happening. If you don't the abuse will continue, perhaps for many
You may feel frightened, dirty, confused, angry and may feel you are
to blame in some way for what is happening.
Remember, the abuse is NEVER your fault, the adult
is to blame.
You may feel that nobody will believe you but you will find that there
are people who are willing to listen, to give you support and help
and who will believe you.
Talk to your parents - if for any reason you feel you cannot do this
then think about who you could talk to - perhaps a teacher at school,
a youth worker, a family member, a friend, a helpline.
If it is your parent who is abusing you I recognise how difficult
it is for you to speak out because part of you may hate your parent
yet part of you may still love your parent. It is possible to still
love your parent but hate what he/she is doing to you.
Your parent may be telling you that this is normal - no it isn't
Your parent may be saying this is what he/she is doing to show you
love - no it isn't love - it is abuse, it is wrong, it is damaging
and it is against the law.
Your parent may be threatening you not to tell - but if you don't
tell the abuse will continue - if you do tell and get help you can
be protected from further threats. Your parent may tell you that nobody
will believe you - yes people will believe you - if the first person
you tell doesn't believe you then find someone else to tell and keep
telling until someone does believe you.
You may not want to tell because you don't want to get your parent
into trouble - however, if your parent is abusing you he/she needs
help - not only might they be abusing you but they may also be abusing
other children/young people. It is only by telling that your parent
can be given the help they need and face up to the consequences of
It takes a lot of courage and strength to speak out but there are
people who will help you with this and support you so you don't have
to go through this on your own.
- Nobody has a right to touch your body, particularly the private
parts of your body and if anyone (even if it is someone you know)
tries to touch you in a way which makes you feel uncomfortable, frightened,
confused, say NO in a loud voice and tell an adult who you can trust.
If the person you tell does not believe you find another adult you
can trust until someone does believe you.
- It can feel really good to have hugs and kisses from people you
like but this is your choice. You don't have to hug or kiss anyone
you don't want to or allow them to hug or kiss you.
- No adult should ever tell you to keep hugs, kisses, touches a secret
and if anyone does you must tell an adult you trust immediately.
- If anyone is trying to hurt you shout no as loudly as you can and
keep shouting - run away if you can towards an adult and ask for
help, if nobody is around and there are shops near you run into the
shop and tell the shopkeeper what has happened.
- Never talk to strangers or accept sweets or toys from strangers
- if any stranger does approach you tell an adult straight away.
- If your mum/dad or person who normally collects you from school
isn't there and a stranger says they have been sent to collect you
never go with the stranger - go back into the class and tell the
- Never play in the dark or places where there are not many people
- Always tell your parents where you are going and what time you
will be back. If you are going to be late always let your parents
- Don't walk home from school/discos, youth club etc. on your own
- always go with a friend and better still - a group of friends.
- If a car pulls up and the driver asks for directions never go up
to the car - ignore the driver and walk on - if the driver follows
you immediately go up to an adult or into a shop.
- Make sure you know your name, address and phone number.
- If you ever need help when you are out try and find a policeman/woman,
traffic warden, security guard or an adult with children if you can
or go straight into a shop and tell the shopkeeper you need help.
- Never arrange to meet anyone over the internet. There are some
adults who pretend they are children or a young person to try and
trick you into meeting up. Never give your real name, or your address
or email address over the internet or your phone number.
- Always stay with a friend or a group of friends if possible when
you are in busy places, amusement arcades, swimming pools, shopping
centres, funfairs, playgrounds etc. If you ever feel that someone
is following you around tell an adult/member of staff.
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The organisations below all give help, information and advice to
children and young people
18 and Under
0800 731 4080
Support and information for young people under 18 who have experienced any type of abuse. (based in Scotland)
0808 800 5792
Telephone advice, information and advocacy services for children
A confidential 24hr free telephone helpline
0808 808 4994
telephone and email helpline finding young people the best help
whatever the problem. Can connect a child or young person to any
UK helpline where appropriate
Muslim Youth Helpline:
0808 808 2008 (Area served
Helpline providing culturally sensitive support to Muslim youth
under the age of 25. Outreach services, including family mediation,
face to face counselling and befriending
National Youth Advocacy Service:
0808 808 1001
Provides information, advice, advocacy and legal representation
to young people up to the age of 25 through a network of advocates
through England and Wales
A confidential telephone helpline providing emotional support and
befriending. SupportLine also keeps details of counsellors and
organisations around the UK
See also our section on Support for Children and Young People.
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Parents/carers of sexually abused children
If you are a parent who has discovered that your child has been abused
you will be experiencing many different emotions - shock, anger, hatred,
guilt, numbness, disbelief, confusion.
If your partner was the person who abused your child you will also
be trying to come to terms with the fact that someone you lived with
and loved and thought you knew and trusted has done something so damaging
and horrific that there was a side to this person that you knew nothing
You may have feelings of guilt that you did not know your child was
being abused and were not there to protect him/her. However, people
who abuse children are cunning, devious, manipulative, and skilful
at hiding their tracks and covering up what they are doing - you cannot
blame yourself for being taken in by an abuser.
It will not help going over the past and blaming yourself - your child
will need you to help them to feel safe, loved, secure, and for you
to be strong for them to help them in their recovery and healing. It
is important at this time to also get some support for yourself and
someone who you can talk to about the feelings you have inside you.
Make sure that your child has someone to talk to and help them to work
through what has happened but keep doing things together you enjoy
and try not to allow the abuse to dominate your lives.
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Agencies providing support for parents/carers of sexually abused
MOSAC - Supporting Non Abusing Parents/Carers
of Sexually Abused Children:
0800 980 1958
helpline for parents of children who have been sexually abused.
Counselling and art therapy by appointment. Groups for parents
of children who have been sexually abused. Greenwich based
- 0113 240 5226
PACE works alongside parents and carers of children who are - or are at risk of being - sexually exploited by perpetrators external to the family. Offs one to one telephone support, national and local meet-ups with other affected parents and information to how parents can work in partnership with Police and social care.
0808 9000 100
A child protection campaign that delivers training to parents, carers and professionals and also operates an educative website designed to raise awareness to child sexual abuse, answer any questions you may have and give the information you need to protect children. The website also features an e-learning programme that provides information on how to keep your family safe and what to do if you are worried about child sexual abuse.
Sexual Violence Legal Advice Line
020 7251 8887 (phone)
or 020 7490 2562 (textphone)
and Tuesdays 10am 12 noon - Free confidential legal advice to
women on sexual violence issues including rape, sexual assault,
child sex offences, family related sex offences, trafficking,
general criminal legal advice (run by Rights of Women)
020 8517 5888
Support parents and
carers of sexually abused children. Run by parents of sexually
abused children. Telephone helpline, drop in centre and befriending
service. Drop in takes place in Ilford, Essex area
SupportLine Telephone Helpline:
Provides emotional support and keeps details of agencies, support
groups and counsellors throughout the UK
Helping to make the internet a great and safe place for children
- information and support for parents.
All aspects of child safety and wellbeing - general information
and more detailed information for members
- www.iwf.org.uk Internet Watch Foundation
Report illegal content
online of child abuse images, criminally abusive content and criminally racist content hosted in the UK
IF YOU ARE AN ADULT WHO KNOWS OR BELIEVES THAT A CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON NEEDS TO BE KEPT SAFE AND FEEL THAT SOMEONE MAY BE AT RISK AND NEED ADVICE YOU CAN CONTACT:
See also: Child abuse -
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