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Signs that a child may be being abused

Here are some things to watch out for in children or young people who may be being abused. These include signs that a child is being sexually abused online.

  • Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with other children, toys or objects.
  • Nightmares, sleeping problems.
  • Becoming withdrawn or very clingy.
  • Personality changes, seeming insecure.
  • Regressing to younger behaviours, e.g. bedwetting.
  • Unaccountable fear of particular places or people.
  • Outbursts of unexplained anger.
  • Changes in eating habits.
  • Physical signs e.g. unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals, sexually-transmitted diseases.
  • Becoming secretive.
  • Not being able to talk openly about their activity online.
  • Spending increasing amounts of time talking secretly with the new 'friend' online
  • The above behaviours may be part of growing up or caused by other factors in a child's life but, if you are worried, ring our confidential helpline and check out your concerns.

You can also find lots of information at www.parentsprotect.co.uk - a site dedicated to helping adults protect children from abuse.

If you are at all worried over someone else's sexual behaviour then call the Stop it Now! Freephone, anonymous and confidential helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice, support and information.

We also offer a confidential e-mail service, help@stopitnow.org.uk, on which you can contact us. Your e-mail address will not be displayed. Due to high demand for this service, we are unfortunately unable to offer an immediate response to your enquiry. We aim to respond to all emails within 7 working days.

Online resources

You may also want to look at our Parents Protect! website for further advice on how to implement child safety plans in order to protect your children from sexual harm.

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Tel: 0808 1000 900
Email: help@stopitnow.org.uk


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