Childhood sexual abuse can impact different people in different ways such as depression or anxiety; panic attacks, phobias and/or flashbacks; anger and shame; remembering only parts of what happened or remembering it in vivid detail; blaming yourself for what happened; these are all common responses to childhood sexual abuse.
It is important to understand that however you have been affected, and whatever your feelings about the abuse, it is OK to feel whatever you do – your feelings are individual and normal.
It is also important to know that what happened wasn’t your fault– the blame always lies with the abuser.
If you have experienced or are currently experiencing child sexual abuse and would like support please call our helpline or email us to access our support. It doesn’t matter who it was or when it happened, we will believe you.
If you are under 18 and you give us your name and address we may have to break your confidentiality and get some advice from other organisations who can help stop the abuse.
You can also contact Child Line 0800 1111 for support. www.childline.org.uk
What is child sexual abuse?
Child sexual abuse is forcing or persuading a child to take part in sexual activities.
Child sexual abuse involves:
- sexual touching of any part of the body, clothed or unclothed
- encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity, including sexual acts with someone else
- intentionally engaging in sexual activity in front of a child
- not taking proper measures to prevent a child being exposed to sexual activities by others
- meeting a child following sexual grooming, with the intent of abusing them
- making, distributing, showing or advertising indecent images of children
- paying for the sexual services of a child
- encouraging a child into prostitution or pornography
- showing a child images of sexual activity, including photographs, videos or via webcams.
Want to talk?
Women and girls
0808 801 0456
Men and boys
0808 801 0464
Monday 11.00am – 2.00pm
Tuesday 6.00pm – 8:30pm