Concerned about a child or young person’s sexual behaviour?

Are you concerned about a young person or child’s sexual behaviour around other children? Does a child you know do or say things you feel are inappropriate or that make you uncomfortable? Has a child you know taken sexual exploration too far? Or do you know a child with sexual behaviour problems online?

We can help you if you want to know:

Your child can also visit Shore, our website for young people.

We can help you

Each child will develop in their own way, but there is a range of acceptable behaviours linked to a child’s age and stage of development. Sometimes these will involve some exploration with other children of a similar age.

It can be difficult for us to tell the difference between age-appropriate sexual exploration and the warning signs of harmful behaviour. If you are worried about a child’s sexual behaviour, offline or online, it is best to trust your gut and get advice. Speak to the non-judgemental experienced advisors on our confidential helpline. You don’t have to give your real name or details that identify you, and can stay anonymous.

Call 0808 1000 900 for advice, support and information. If you’re not ready to speak to someone yet, you can use our live chat or secure email or look at the links below.

We can support you if your child has got into trouble 

Around 9 in 10 children who are sexually abused know the perpetrator, and most child sexual abuse takes place within the family home. As well as this, around one third of child sexual abuse is carried out by children and young people themselves.

As parents and carers, we all want to do the best we can to protect our children, while giving them the freedom they need to develop towards adulthood.

It is very disturbing to suspect that your child, or a child you know, may be sexually harming someone else. It is so much easier to dismiss such thoughts and put them down to imagination. You might be worried about the possible consequences of taking action.

But help is available and it is better to talk about your concerns rather than ignore them and hope for the best. Remember, you are not alone.

We are here to help

Taking action and talking to someone can lead to abuse being prevented, and children who are being abused receiving protection and help to recover. It can also lead to the abuser getting effective help or treatment to stop abusing and to grow up as a safer member of our community. Parents, carers and professionals need to get support for themselves too.

No parent wants to think their child has sexually harmed another, but if you have any worries at all please call us. We know it’s a difficult thing to do, but people who care and who know how to help are ready to take your call.

Help us prevent child sexual abuse. Call our confidential helpline today.

Has your child got into trouble online?

We have a guide with advice and support for parents and carers worried about a child or young person who has got into trouble online, including sexting, accessing adult pornography, or viewing sexual images of children. It will answer some of the immediate questions you may have after learning that something is happening, or has happened, in your child’s online life.

We also have information if your child is being investigated for getting into trouble online. It helps you to understand what has happened and provides the advice you will need on how to move forward.

Our helpline can tell you about the face-to-face help we offer through our Inform Young People programme. This is an educational programme for young people in trouble with the police, their school or college for inappropriate use of technology and the internet.

You can also visit our Parents Protect website for more advice and information, including how to make a family safety plan and how you can take action to prevent abuse.

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