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One of the hardest things for parents or carers to discover is that their child may have sexually harmed or abused another child.

In this situation, denial, shock and anger are normal reactions. If it is not responded to quickly and sensitively, the effect on the whole family can be devastating. It is vital to get professional advice as soon as you suspect something is wrong.

The positive message is that early help for the child or young person and their family can make a real difference. Evidence suggests the earlier children get help, the more chance there is of preventing them moving on to more serious behaviour. It is important to be alert to the early warning signs that something is going wrong. Our Parents Protect website offers more information about signs to look out for.

If you are in this situation, remember: you are not on your own. Many other parents have been through similar experiences and, as a result, the child and family found the help they needed. The first step is to talk it over with someone else.

Our confidential helpline’s experienced advisors can support you. If you’re not ready to speak to someone yet, you can send us a secure message

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