It is important to feel safe from harm or abuse...

Children and young people can experience abuse at home, when playing, at school, in children's homes - in fact anywhere. The abuse is usually caused by someone the child knows and rarely by a stranger. Children can also be abused by other children and young people. It can include:

  • physically hurting, such as hitting
  • not being looked after properly
  • being made to feel very unhappy
  • being made to be involved in sexual activity

Any of these forms of abuse can end up causing long term problems or unhappiness.

It's not your fault

Sometimes abusers can make you feel that what is happening to you is your fault and that you won't be believed or get into trouble if you tell anyone.

If this happens to you, remember it's not your fault and you can get help to stop it:

  • talk to a friend - tell them about your worries
  • tell a Carer, Social Worker, teacher or adult you trust
  • contact a Social Worker in our First Response team tel 0116 305005
  • contact Childline tel 0800 1111

The information here can help you and your friends to be safe.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is when someone deliberately hurts or injures you. Physical abuse can include hitting, kicking, hair pulling, beating with objects, and throwing. Physical abuse can happen as just one event or over a longer time.

This can result in:

  • bruising, marks or injuries
  • broken bones
  • burns

It may mean:

  • not wanting to get changed in public
  • running away from home
  • becoming withdrawn or shy
  • becoming angry or afraid
  • becoming lonely

Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse may involve making a child or young person feel that they are worthless, unloved, not good enough.

This can include being:

  • shouted at or called names
  • ignored or not allowed to do things
  • seeing others close to them being hurt in front of them
  • told that they are not good enough
  • treated differently from others in the family
  • doing adult things that make them feel bad
  • feeling frightened or in danger

It may mean:

  • low self-esteem and confidence
  • feeling angry
  • eating problems
  • feeling anxious
  • feeling depressed
  • self harm or attempt suicide


Neglect means not being looked after properly.

It may involve you not having access to things when you need them such as:

  • enough food, drink and clean clothing
  • somewhere warm and comfortable to sleep
  • protection and guidance to keep you away from danger
  • proper care and supervision
  • help when you are ill or been hurt
  • comfort and affection
  • support with your education

It may mean:

  • being hungry and tired
  • not having clean clothes
  • not having had a wash
  • not having enough money
  • turning up to school late
  • not having many friends

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is when a child or young person is pressurised, forced, tricked or coerced into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with an adult or another young person. This can include kissing, touching the young person's genitals (private parts) or breasts, intercourse or oral sex.

It can happen to anyone – boys and girls, young women or young men - and can happen if you are in a relationship and something is making you feel uncomfortable. This can include:

  • touching
  • rape

It may mean: