Signs that a child may be being abused
Here are some things to watch out for in children or young people who may be being abused. These include signs that a child is being sexually abused online.
- Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with other children, toys or objects.
- Nightmares, sleeping problems.
- Becoming withdrawn or very clingy.
- Personality changes, seeming insecure.
- Regressing to younger behaviours, e.g. bedwetting.
- Unaccountable fear of particular places or people.
- Outbursts of unexplained anger.
- Changes in eating habits.
- Physical signs e.g. unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals, sexually-transmitted diseases.
- Becoming secretive.
- Not being able to talk openly about their activity online.
- Spending increasing amounts of time talking secretly with the new 'friend' online
The above behaviours may be part of growing up or caused by other factors in a child’s life but, if you are worried, ring our confidential helpline and check out your concerns.
You can also find lots of information at www.parentsprotect.co.uk - a site dedicated to helping adults protect children from abuse.
Call the Stop it Now! freephone confidential helpline on 0808 1000 900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice, support and information. Please bear in mind there will be a delay in response to the email service, for an immediate response please call our confidential Helpline - 0808 1000 900.
Our telephone Helpline offers a confidential service for people seeking advice and support. This means that when contacting us you do not have to give any identifying information such as address, telephone number or last name.
However, if you do give us identifying information and we are concerned that a child is at risk or a criminal offence has been committed which the police may not be aware of, we will have to pass on that information to the appropriate agencies.
We also offer a confidential e-mail service, email@example.com, on which you can contact us. Your e-mail address will not be displayed. Due to high demand for this service, we are unfortunately unable to offer an immediate response to your enquiry. We aim to respond to all emails within 3-5 working days but if your enquiry is urgent please call the confidential Helpline 0808 1000 900.