The Stop It Now helpline

How we can help you

Who can call the Stop It Now helpline?

We can support anyone with a concern about child sexual abuse and its prevention. We encourage you to trust your gut and call, live chat or email us, whatever your worry.

Our experienced advisors don’t judge and can support anyone struggling with their own or a loved one’s sexual thoughts, feelings and behaviours towards children. We also support anyone worried about a child or young person’s sexual behaviour, including if they’ve got into trouble online.

You can also call the helpline if you’re an adult concerned about a child or young person who may have been abused, a professional calling for case advice or an adult survivor of child sexual abuse.

Read what happened when Jack called our helpline.

How can I call the Stop It Now helpline?

You can call the helpline for free from the UK, in English or Welsh, on 0808 1000 900. Or you can use our live chat or send us a secure email.

If you are in Ireland, you can call the helpline on +44 1372 847 161 (charges subject to your service provider).

We can also arrange for an interpreter to join the call to translate over 200 languages. Our standard confidentiality policy applies and you will not have to provide any identifying information. All LanguageLine interpreters have undergone advanced security checks and are bound by a strict code of ethics, covering impartiality and non-disclosure.

Is the Stop It Now helpline confidential?

The helpline is confidential and you don’t have to give us your full name or any other details that will identify you. But if you do, and you then give us information that identifies a child who has been – or is at risk of being – abused, or any information that may suggest that any other person is at risk of harm, we will pass that information on to the appropriate agencies. We will also pass on details of any criminal offence committed.

What happens when I call the helpline?

Our confidentiality policy is explained to callers at the beginning of the call. Our experienced advisors will:

  • talk through the issues, helping callers clarify their concerns
  • explore any immediate child protection considerations
  • provide information and support to help callers make sense of their situation and think about next steps
  • discuss available options, including referral to another agency or our own follow-up services
  • advise callers about actions to consider and agree one or more protective actions callers will take.

When is the Stop It Now helpline open?

Mondays – Thursday: 9am – 9pm
Fridays: 9am – 5pm
We’re closed on weekends.
Bank holidays – limited opening times. Please see our social media page for updates on opening hours.

Chat opening hours:

Mondays – Tuesday: 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 4pm
Wednesday: 1pm – 4pm and 6pm – 9pm
Thursday: 9am – 12pm
Fridays: 9am – 12pm

Can I report someone to the Stop It Now helpline?

We are not a reporting agency. To report a person, offence, website or illegal image, please contact one of the following organisations:

  • Crimestoppers: an independent charity where you can anonymously report any crime, including child sexual abuse, which is then passed to the relevant authorities
  • IWF: to report online sexual images of children
  • CEOP: to report someone’s online sexual behaviour with a child
  • Your local police force (or 101): if you suspect someone is sexually abusing a child.

Please contact our confidential helpline if you need further support.

What to expect when you call the helpline

As a child protection charity, the safety of children lies at the heart of the work of the helpline.

Our confidentiality policy is explained to callers at the beginning of their call, and these details are clearly displayed on our website.

“The helpline is anonymous and confidential, so you don’t have to give me any identifying information. If you do give me such information and a child has been abused, a crime has been committed or there is a risk of harm to anyone including children or yourself, then I would have to pass that information on.”

The helpline guidelines continue to be revised and developed for the use of helpline operators, in line with sound child protection principles and good practice. If possible, we put callers in touch with relevant local agencies and sources of help and support that they can access, and provide them with web-based resources where appropriate.

Helpline management and operation

The Director of Stop It Now directs the work of both the Stop It Now campaign and the helpline. The day-to-day running of the helpline is overseen by the helpline managers, under the guidance and supervision of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation senior helpline manager.

The helpline operates from an office of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, in order to have access to LFF practitioners. These staff, with professional backgrounds in working with child sexual abuse in statutory agencies, undertake shifts on the helpline and provide peer support to other colleagues. They also provide a call-back and face-to-face service to callers who need ongoing advice or support in particular circumstances.

As well as utilising LFF permanent staff, the helpline is supported by a number of trained advisors from backgrounds that include the criminal justice system, teaching, working with children with disabilities, working on other telephone helplines (Childline and Samaritans), counselling, and child protection.

Monitoring and evaluation

Clear and accurate record-keeping is essential to the management and evaluation of the helpline service. Each call or email that the helpline receives is logged under a first name or pseudonym, with subsequent contact being recorded on ‘follow-on’ log sheets for clarity and continuity. Calls are audited on a monthly basis, to inform staff supervision, to ensure the quality of our service, and to meet criteria agreed with the Ministry of Justice. An electronic database enables us to analyse call trends. Our recording and auditing systems are subject to regular review, to ensure accurate recording and good quality of service to our callers.

Can you help us?

We are committed to ensuring that our services, policies and practices are free from discrimination and prejudice and that we provide equal treatment to all. Please consider completing an anonymous survey to help us continue to improve our services.

You will not be asked for any identifying information such as your name or contact details and it will take a couple of minutes to complete.

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