Child Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is never your fault. You haven’t done anything wrong.

What is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is when someone is forced, pressured or tricked into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with another person. It could be online or in person, and it can happen to anyone.

Sexual abuse can include:

  • Sexual touching of any part of your body, whether you have your clothes on or not
  • Being pressured or told to undress for someone
  • Being told to touch someone else’s body sexually.
  • being pressured or forced to do something sexual or have sex
  • someone flashing or exposing themselves to you in person or online
  • being pressured or told to share sexual images or videos of yourself
  • being sent, shown or given sexual pictures and videos, including porn
  • being given things or made to feel like you owe someone something sexual
  • doing anything sexual without your consent

Talking about sexual abuse can feel difficult sometimes, but you should never have to cope alone. Telling someone what’s happened can help you get support and stop what’s happening.

Getting support with sexual abuse

Childline website offers help and advice including:

  • talking to a Childline counsellor (by email, free phone call, or 1-2-1 online messaging)
  • advice for how to open up if you are not sure how to
  • coping after abuse
  • helping your friend or someone else you know.

Getting help

If you are affected by child abuse or neglect, it can really help to talk to someone you trust.

Where can I get help?