Where to find support and report concerns

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If you are worried about how someone you know behaves around children or what they do online, we encourage you to get support by working through these sections and contacting our anonymous helpline.

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Many people are distressed after a loved one’s arrest and may have concerns or require support. You might be confused, have sleep difficulties, loss of appetite, anxiety or, trouble functioning in your personal and work life. You might find yourself drinking more alcohol than normal, avoiding other people or losing interest in your usual hobbies. If you already struggled with mental health issues, you could be more vulnerable during this time. Some people experience symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Talk to us

If you have any concerns, questions, or would just like to talk about what you are going through, our non-judgemental helpline advisors are here to support you. You can stay anonymous and don’t have to give your real name or any contact details. If you’re not ready to speak to anyone yet, you can also use our live chat or send a secure email.

Where can I get support?

Prioritise self-care and pay attention to your physical and mental well-being. Getting support from your GP can be helpful and they can recommend appropriate services and discuss potential medication options if needed. Remember that it’s okay to seek help without disclosing the details of your situation.

Our Family and Friends Forum is a safe space to share experiences and learn from other people who have gone through the same thing. It can help you prepare for the next stage in the process and better understand the impact on you and your family. We recommend speaking to one of our helpline advisors before visiting the forum, as some content may be upsetting.

Mental health

During tough times, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and alone, but these feelings will improve with time. Seeking support from others and taking care of yourself can make a big difference. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings, and try activities that bring you joy. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help too. Be patient with yourself as healing takes time. Remember, seeking help and self-care can make a positive impact on how you cope and move forward.

If you have difficulty sleeping or with alcohol consumption, the NHS has advice and support. Organisations like MIND offer guidance for anyone dealing with mental health issues. Apps like Headspace and Calm can help with meditation and mindfulness practices, promoting relaxation and better sleep.

Suicide prevention

If you or someone you know experiences suicidal thoughts, reach out to organisations like Samaritans who offer 24/7 emotional support. The NHS also has support and advice if you or someone close to you is experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Practical and financial support

Facing financial concerns during the investigation can be challenging, but organisations like Citizens Advice can help with budgeting and debt management. Spare Room offers available accommodation options if you or your loved one needs to move. The UK government website provides advice on benefits and eligibility during this time.

Our Parents Protect website has valuable information and resources for identifying signs of child sexual abuse, age-appropriate sexual behaviour in children, and online safety. It also provides guidance on creating a Family Safety Plan and explains what to expect if you report child sexual abuse to the authorities.

If you are looking for legal advice or a loved one wants to find a solicitor then The Law Society has advice and a database of professionals to help you find someone near you.

Other organisations

There are other organisations that can also offer support at this time, include:

Talking forward – peer support for anyone whose adult family member has been investigated for an online sexual offence.

STOPSO – counselling and support for families of people who have committed a sexual offence.

The Family Rights Group helps families understand their rights and options when decisions are made about their children’s welfare by social workers or courts. They work with parents whose children are in need, at risk, or in the care system.

If you are affected by a family member in prison

Prisoners families helpline for families with a member arrested or cautioned in England and Wales. The Prisoners’ families helpline (0808 808 2003) provides advice and support on various aspects of the justice system, prison visits, and preparing for release.

Families Outside is a national charity that includes Scotland and works on behalf of families affected by imprisonment.

Children Heard and Seen support children, young people and their families who are impacted by parental imprisonment.

Where to report concerns

If you want to report any behaviour of concern then you can use the following organisations.

  • Police – if you suspect someone is sexually abusing a child.
  • Crimestoppers – an independent charity where you can anonymously report any crime, including child sexual abuse.
  • CEOP – to report someone’s online sexual behaviour with a child.
  • Internet Watch Foundation – to report online sexual images of children.
  • NSPCC – if you are worried about any type of abuse against a child you can report and get information and advice.

“Thank you, it has been a lifesaver as I had no idea my life was going to take this path. Thank you will never be enough but it comes from the heart. If I’ve learnt anything in this whole process, it’s that tough times don’t last but tough people do. Thank you for being there.” (Feedback from a partner who contact the helpline)

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