Abuse is always wrong and can be very difficult to talk about, but you are never alone.
Abuse is any action by another person, adult or child, that causes significant harm to you. It may happen over a period of time rather than being a one-off event. No one deserves to be abused and if it’s happening to you, it’s not your fault. It’s time to get help and stop the abuse.
- Physical abuse – when someone deliberately hurts or injures you, for example by hitting, kicking, burning, or throwing things at you, causing bruises, broken bones, cuts or burns.
- Emotional abuse – when someone is always shouting at you, putting you down or making you feel bad about yourself. It can involve being deliberately scared, humiliated, isolated or ignored.
- Sexual abuse – when you are pressurised, tricked or forced into sex or any kind of sexual activity with an adult or another young person.
- Neglect – when you are not being looked after properly, so you might not have clean clothes to wear or enough food to eat.
- Domestic abuse – controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people that are in a relationship. You may experience domestic abuse or witness it at home within your family.
- Child sexual exploitation – if you are under 18 years old and in a relationship with an adult who is giving you something such as clothes, money or somewhere to live in exchange for sexual activities like sex or touching.
- Online abuse – You may feel that there is no escape from online abuse because your abuser can contact you any time but you can get help to stop it, even if you are worried about what you have been forced to share online.
If you are being abused remember it is never your fault, but you must talk to someone so it can stop and you can start to get on with your life with the support to deal with what has happened to you.
If you feel you can’t talk to people you already know, call ChildLine on 0800 1111 which is run by professionals who will know how to help you.
If you are in immediate danger call 999
If you are worried about your own safety or that of a friend call South Gloucestershire Safeguarding:
01454 866000 – Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
01454 615165 – Out of hours and at weekends
Schools employ a range of people to look after your wellbeing. Some of the titles of these staff may vary in your school but you will be able to find out about them from a teacher.
Most schools have a nurse who either have a drop-in clinic or appointments you can make to see them. They can provide information about mental health and emotional wellbeing, and can help you access further support if this is needed. http://cchp.nhs.uk/cchp/explore-cchp/school-health-nursing
Off the Record: free and confidential one-to-one and group mental health support for 11-18 year olds, in schools and community settings. Young people can sign up online or find out more via the HUBS – www.otrbristol.org.uk, call 0808 808 9120 between 2 and 5pm, text 07896880011.
GP – you can make an appointment to visit your doctor or a nurse at the surgery to talk about any worries or concerns you have. Call your GP surgery to speak to the receptionist or go there in person. The receptionist will probably ask you who the appointment is for and why; this is to make sure that you see the right person at the right time. You don’t have to tell them why – you can just say it’s for something personal if you like.
If you think you’ll might have difficulty discussing your mental health with your GP, you can find advice about how to prepare How to Talk to Your GP About Mental Health
ChildLine: free helpline for children and young people to talk about any problem 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk.
The Mix: telephone and email support for under 25’s – freephone 0808 808 4994 (1pm-11pm) Text 80849 www.themix.org.uk.
Samaritans: if something is troubling you – call 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get self-help: free online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) resources – www.getselfhelp.co.uk.
Reading Well; Shelf help: a list of recommended books to help young people deal with a range of issues, available in all libraries.
The Bridge: information and counselling services to support children and adults who have been affected by rape/sexual assault. www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk 0117 3426999 or email email@example.com
Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support: for people aged 13 + www.sarsas.org.uk; Women and girls 0808 8010456; Men and boys 0808 801 0464
Next Link South Glos provide support services for anyone (women, men, children) who has been the victim of domestic abuse. Services include telephone help and advice, safe houses, community outreach services and group programmes.
Help line 0800 4700 280 open 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 9:30am – 1:00pm on Saturday
The NSPCC gives confidential advice and support to young people experiencing or witnessing abuse. Call 0808 800 5000 – the number won’t show on your phone bill. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/report-abuse/report-abuse-online/
Disrespect NoBody helps with abuse in relationships https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disrespect-nobody-campaign
BullyingUK gives advice on cyber bullying and gives information on how what to do if you are being bullied or abused on social networks. www.bullying.co.uk
Refuge is a site you can visit if there is domestic abuse taking place in your home and you want to find out more information about what you can do. www.refuge.org.uk
The Hideout is a space created by Women’s Aid, to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse and how to take positive action if it’s happening to you. www.thehideout.org.uk.