What is abuse?

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

  • physically hurting them, such as hitting them
  • not looking after them properly
  • making them feel unhappy
  • involving them 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 parent, carer, social worker, teacher or adult you trust
  • contact a social worker in our First Response team tel 0116 305 0005
  • contact Childline tel 0800 1111

The information here can help you make you and your friends safe.

Types of abuse