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Supporting your child with abuse

If you're worried your child is being abused, or has been abused in the past, here are the places where you can find help.

If your child is experiencing or has experienced abuse, or you are worried they might be, remember that you are not alone. On this page, you can find organisations that can help you.

If your child experiences abuse, it can have a huge effect on their mental health and wellbeing – both while it is happening and later in life. Abuse is never okay or excusable, and everyone has the right to live a life free from fear, harm and control.

The most important thing you can do is find the right support to help you take the next step, so that you can make sure your child is safe, that the abuse stops and that they can get the help they need to deal with what’s happened.

What is abuse?

Abuse can happen in different ways. It can be:

  • Physical – when someone is hurt or harmed on purpose, including being hit, slapped, kicked, punched or shook.
  • Mental or emotional – when someone is treated badly, including being ignored or criticised, called names, shouted at, threatened, frightened, blamed or controlled.
  • Neglect – when a child or young person is not looked after, or does not get the love, care and attention they need. This includes not getting things like food or clothing, and not being kept healthy or safe.
  • Sexual – sexual touching of any part of a child’s body, or forcing a child to see or take part in any kind of sexual activity. This includes a child being kissed, touched or forced to have sex, and being exposed to sexual acts, images or videos.
  • Domestic – any kind of abuse that happens between people in a relationship.

For more information on the different types of abuse, and signs that can tell you a young person is being abused, go to the NSPCC website.

Where can I find help?

Below you can find organisations that can support you.

If someone is in immediate danger or at risk of immediate harm, call 999 for the police. You can also call 999 for an ambulance if someone is injured.

NSPCC

Information and advice for any adult concerned about the safety of a child.

Online contact form here.

Phone: 0808 800 5000

Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 8am - 10pm, Monday - Friday; 9am - 6pm at weekends

Refuge

Supports women and children who are experiencing, or have experienced, domestic violence or abuse.

You can call their helpline for support, information and advice - including help to access their emergency accommodation.

Online chat service available 3pm - 10pm, Monday - Friday.

You can send a message to the helpline using this online contact form (response time within 48 hours, or at a safe time chosen by you).

Phone: 0808 2000 247

Opening times: 24 hours a day, every day of the year

Men's Advice Line

Provides support, information and advice for men experiencing domestic violence or abuse.

You can access their webchat service from the homepage (open 10am - 11am and 3pm - 4pm, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays).

Phone: 0808 8010327

Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 9am - 8pm, Monday - Friday

Rape Crisis

Supports girls and women who have experienced rape, sexual violence or sexual abuse at any time.

Online chat service available for women and girls aged 16 or over, open Monday-Friday (times on the website).

You can find your local crisis centre here

Phone: 0808 802 9999

Opening times: 12 - 2.30pm and 7pm - 9.30pm, 365 days a year

Pace

Supports parents and carers whose children are being, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited by someone outside the family.

Contact them using their online form - someone will then be in touch to discuss your situation.

Victim Support

Offers support to anyone affected by crime; not only those who experience it directly, but also their friends, family and any other people involved.

Live webchat service available.

Offers specialist support for children and young people affected by crime through their website You & Co.

Phone: 08 08 16 89 111

Opening times: 24/7

Stop it Now

Supports adults who are unsure or worried about their own sexual thoughts or behaviour towards children, or the behaviour of someone they know (adults or children).

Phone: 0808 1000 900

Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 9am - 9pm, Monday – Thursday; 9am - 5pm on Fridays.

Mosac

Supports non-abusing parents and carers of children who have been sexually abused. They offer therapeutic sessions, advocacy, training, support groups and advice sessions.

If you can afford to pay for the call, Mosac asks you to ring 020 8293 9990.

Webchat service available from the homepage.

Interpreter services are available.

Phone: 0800 980 1958

Email: [email protected]

Childline

If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

Sign up for a free Childline locker (real name or email address not needed) to use their free 1-2-1 counsellor chat and email support service.

Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.

Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.

Phone: 0800 1111

Opening times: 9am - midnight, 365 days a year

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