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:
- Contact your local police - if a child is in immediate danger, call 999
- Contact your local Children's Social Services
- Make a report online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre
- Contact the Stop It Now! helpline
- Contact the NSPCC helpline
Other useful links can be found here.
For more information on child protection follow this link to our FAQs.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT ABUSE
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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If you want to know more how to prevent child sexual abuse, you can watch the rest of our short films.
If you're worried about how an adult or young person you know behaves around children, you can get confidential support from the Stop It Now! helpline: 0808 1000 900. If you’re not ready to speak to someone yet, you can use our live chat or send a secure message.
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