Who can I speak to and where can I go?
Are you worried about something that is happening to you?
Are you speaking to people online who are making you send them pictures or videos of yourself?
Do you want to speak to someone about your concerns?
If you are at risk of harm or suffering sexual abuse then it’s important to know that it is not your fault and you shouldn’t keep it to yourself.
Talking about a problem or something you are worried about can be the first step to solving it and there are lots of people and places that can help.
- If there’s an adult you trust, a parent, carer, friend or a teacher, talk to them first about what’s happening
- You can contact the police on 101 or in emergency you should always dial 999
- Contact a school nurse by texting 07520 615 387
- Call ChildLine on 0800 1111.
There are also many places you can visit for further help and advice, including:
- www.thinkuknow.co.uk - information and activities for children and teenagers aged 5+
- www.healthforteens.co.uk – information and advice on many health issues or worries
- Visit Barnardo’s or NSPCC. Barnardo’s has a useful guide for helping to keep you and your friend’s safe.
Something has happened to me – what will happen if I report it?
Whatever has happened is not your fault, even if you have been told it is. You may have been told that if you tell someone they won’t believe you or that something bad will happen to you or your family, this is not true and you are not to blame.
If you talk to the police we will work alongside social workers to support you so you can tell us what happened. We have specially trained officers who will listen to what you have to say. They will then explain to you what will happen next and make sure that you’re happy with it. We won’t make you do anything you don’t want to. But we will always take action to make sure you or another child is safe.
But I don’t want people to know I’ve been abused
If you tell us something, we don't necessarily need to tell a parent. But from experience, we know that parents can be very supportive, even if it's a family member who's hurt you. If you decide not to tell someone, then we can provide details of people and places who can support you.
What will happen to my family if I tell?
The most important thing is that you are safe. We won't make you do anything you don't want to, but we will need to make sure you are safe. That is likely to mean we will need to interview whoever has been hurting you so we can stop it and also prevent the person responsible from hurting anyone else.
Will I be taken away?
We wouldn’t take you away from your parents unless there is a real risk of harm to you. Where possible we want to make sure you live a happy, healthy and safe life in the comfort of your own home.
I was sexually abused a long time ago, should I still come forward?
Yes. Any person reporting historic sexual abuse to the police will be treated seriously. However, the only assurance that can be given is that the matter will be thoroughly investigated. Beyond that no other predictions about the outcome of the case can ever be made and it is important that you have realistic expectations. The passage of time means that much of the evidence may have been lost, although gathering of early reports, medical and social services records are examples of lines of enquiry that may be pursued. Once the suspect has been interviewed, the case will be assessed by the police and if there is sufficient evidence the case may be forwarded to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to review.