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  • NSPCC - If you are afraid for yourself or your siblings call the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). It runs a confidential and free helpline for young people concerned about all issues of safety.
    Tel: 0800 800 5000
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    Tel: 08457 909090
  • Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling (RASAC) - Free, confidential listening and support service for women and men who have been raped and/or sexually abused at any time in their lives, or for anyone who wants to talk about the effects of any unwanted sexual encounter.
    Tel: 020 8683 3300

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What is child abuse?

95% of children who call ChildLine know their abuser, be they parents, teachers, friends of the family or other relatives.

What is child abuse?

There are four main forms:

  • Physical abuse: This includes hitting, kicking, beating, shaking and throwing, whether it causes bruises, broken bones or death.
  • Sexual abuse: This is where children are forced or persuaded to perform sexual acts by others, whether that's looking at pornography, being touched sexually or actually having sex.
  • Emotional abuse: When children are deprived of love and acceptance from their parents or guardians. They may be screamed at, blamed for things that aren't their fault and/or told they are worthless by their carers.
  • Neglect: When parents or guardians do not provide the child with the required food, warmth, shelter, care and protection.

Who abuses children?

95% of children who call ChildLine know their abuser, be they parents, teachers, friends of the family or other relatives.

Nobody has the right to abuse you. Not even your dad. It can cause physical injury, emotional scarring, and make an innocent victim feel too afraid to do anything about it.

Is it my fault?

No, every child has the right to be safe, it is the abuser who is in the wrong. Don't deal with it alone, tell someone you trust instead, such as a teacher or friend.

Updated: 10/09/2008

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