Signs a child might be abusing

A child or young person who is sexually harming another might display certain signs.

If you’re worried about a child’s sexual behaviour, either in the real world or online, then call our free and confidential helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice, support and information from an experienced advisor.

If you’re not ready to speak to someone yet, you can use our secure messaging service or look at the links below.

Do you know a child or adolescent who:

  • Seeks out the company of younger children and spends an unusual amount of time in their company?
  • Takes younger children to ‘secret’ places or hideaways or plays ‘special’ games with them (e.g. doctor and patient, removing clothing etc.) especially games unusual for their age?
  • Insists on hugging or kissing a child when the child does not want to?
  • Tells you they do not want to be alone with a child or becomes anxious when a particular child or young person is coming to visit?
  • Frequently uses aggressive sexual language about adults or children?
  • Shows sexual material to younger children?
  • Makes sexually abusive telephone calls?
  • Shares alcohol or other drugs with younger children or teens?
  • Views sexual images of children on the internet or elsewhere?
  • Exposes his or her genitals to younger children?
  • Forces sex on another adolescent or child?
  • Becomes secretive about their online activity, shutting the door of the room where they are using the computer and changing the screen if someone enters the room
  • Hides traces of their online activity and storage files
  • Uses the new technology with children whilst excluding adults
  • Meets up with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults in real life who they have initially met online


We can help you if:

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