Support and Services - Reporting Abuse

If you are worried about someone's behaviour towards a child, which leads you to suspect they may be abusing or exploiting that child, you must take action. You should do one or all of the following:

Other useful links can be found here.

For more information on child protection follow this link to our FAQs.


If a child trusts you enough to tell you about abuse, remember that they rarely lie about such things.

It’s important that they feel supported – don’t dismiss their claims or stop them talking about it.

Stay calm and try not to get upset or angry.  If you get angry, the child might think you are angry with them and that they’ve done something wrong. This will play into the hands of the abuser who warned the child not to tell.

Let the child know you are there to help. Reassure them that by talking, they are doing the right thing, that you believe them and love them and that you are not angry at them.

Every year thousands of people discover that someone in their family or circle of friends has abused a child. These children and their families need help to recover from their experiences.

Our actions can prevent abuse, protect children, and help those abused to recover.

It can also lead to the abuser being held accountable and taking responsibility for their abuse. By getting effective treatment, they might eventually become a safer member of our community.

And if the abuser is someone close to us, we need to get support for ourselves too.

If you know about abuse and don’t tell anyone, the offender may well continue to abuse, the child continue to suffer, and more victims could be created. But you can change that.

If you see warning signs and don’t know what to do, seek advice and help. The confidential Stop It Now! helpline supports thousands of people each year to keep children safe.

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Harmful sexual behaviour among young people

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Confidential Stop it now! helpline

You can get support from child sexual abuse prevention professionals by calling the Stop It Now! helpline. It's confidential and you don't need to give any identifying information. 

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What to do if a child tells about abuse

It can be very difficult to know how to respond if a child discloses abuse. This guide will help you respond in a sensitive and appropriate way.

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