How we prevent child sexual abuse

The Stop It Now! UK and Ireland Campaign

Stop It Now! UK and Ireland is at the forefront of activity to prevent child sexual abuse. Campaigning and awareness-raising are essential tasks for local, regional and national projects in order to empower and enable adults to address personal, family and community concerns.

Wherever we work, we are building community strength and helping families to know the steps to keep their children safe from sexual abuse, including how to implement family safety plans. Our campaigning activities are wide and varied.

How we prevent child sexual abuse

  • Stop It Now! Wales delivers awareness sessions on a host of subjects to parents and carers across the country
  • Stop It Now! Wales engages with politicians, professionals and members of the public to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and how to prevent it
  • With the support of the Police, Stop It Now! Scotland is developing services to better respond to the challenge of sexual offending and the Internet
  • We created the Parents Protect! website and associated learning resources that accompany the Police Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme across England, Wales and Scotland
  • We have developed online self-help resources for those concerned about their online behaviour
  • We have developed online self-help resources for those concerned about their thoughts and behaviour towards children
  • We run a national communications campaign to deter online offending behaviour

How the helpline works

Telephone helplines for children are a key part of child protection services. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of adults to protect children from abuse. Helplines for concerned adults are a powerful means of protection and prevention. Our helpline is a dedicated resource for adults concerned about the sexual abuse of children.

Our principal target groups

  • Adult abusers and those at risk of abusing: to encourage them to recognise their behaviour as abusive or potentially abusive and to seek help to change.
  • Family and friends concerned about an adult displaying worrying sexual thoughts or behaviour towards a child: to encourage them to recognise the signs of abusive behaviour in those close to them and to seek advice about what action to take.
  • Parents and carers concerned about a child or young person with worrying sexual behaviour: to encourage them to recognise the signs of concerning or abusive behaviour and to seek advice about what positive action they can take.

Additional groups included due to caller demand:

  • Adults concerned about a child or young person who may have been abused
  • Professionals calling for case advice
  • Adult survivors of child sexual abuse

The helpline’s main objectives are to:

  • Assist callers to identify the nature and seriousness of their concerns
  • Provide information and support to callers to help them clarify their thinking
  • Explore options available, including referral to our own follow-up service or to another agency
  • Advise callers about further actions to consider
  • Agree one or more protective actions the caller will take


You can read about our achievements and milestones in our ten year report and our ten year timeline. You can read more about our impact by exploring the pages, here.

Our ten year report covers the operation of the helpline and the work of the campaign from 2002-2012.

In part one you will find statistics, case studies and information relating to the thousands of people the helpline has assisted over the years. In part two you will read about the work of the Stop It Now! campaign and how it has helped hundreds of thousands of people in communities across the UK.

Report 2002-2012

Ten year timeline

Back to top

Can you help us improve the effectiveness of this website?

To keep this website and its self-help resources as effective as possible for its users, we would very much appreciate you taking a short survey. The survey is completely confidential and you will not need to provide any identifying details. It should take about ten minutes to complete.

To take the survey, please click here.

Thank you.