Sexual abuse includes:
- Being touched in a way you don't like
- Being forced to have sex
- Being forced to look at sexual pictures or videos
- You're made to watch someone do something sexual. This can include someone flashing or exposing themselves to you
- You're made to do something sexual to someone that feels uncomfortable or wrong.
Sexual abuse can happen to both girls and boys. The abusers can be men or women.
Being raped or sexually assaulted is deeply upsetting and can leave you feeling frightened, confused and vulnerable. The most important thing to remember is that it is not your fault and you should never blame yourself for what happened.
Sexual assault and rape are both against the law and wrong.
Where to get help?
If you or a friend has been sexually abused, you could speak to an adult you know and trust, such as
- A teacher
- Your parent or carer
- A doctor or nurse
You could phone someone now:
- Call Childline free on 0800 111 - it's confidential, free and won't show up on your phone bill.Childline have friendly counsellors who speak to hundreds of young people everyday.
- A police officer can help you - phone 101 to contact your local police station or call 999 in an emergency.
- Northamptonshire Child Safety Team on 0300 126 1000 - they will listen to you and give you advice and support. These people will not judge you and are not easily shocked by what you tell them. Instead, they will listen and help talk you through your options.
- Rape Crisis on 0808 802 9999
Chat online with someone who can help:
Childline have friendly counsellors who can chat with you online - see Childline's page about online chat
Get help from your doctor:
It is also important to get medical help as soon as you can. This way, a doctor or nurse can make sure that you’re okay. See Childline's page about visiting a doctor.
What will happen next?
The person you confide in will talk to you about involving the police. Rape and sexual assault is a crime and the police can help make sure that you’re safe and try and stop it from happening to somebody else. If you talk to the police they have to take you seriously. Talking to them means there is a chance that your attacker could be caught and possibly sent to prison.
If you have been raped recently, the police will often start with collecting some evidence. Don’t be scared about this. If you can, try not to wash, go to the toilet or brush your teeth so the evidence is still there. But don’t panic if you have already done some of these things, there might still be evidence to collect.
The police will also ask for a statement about what happened. Even if you feel embarrassed about some parts or can’t remember, it’s important to tell them as much as possible. You can ask for a woman police officer if that makes it easier or ask a friend or adult you trust to go along with you.
If you have been sexually abused, you may be confused and uncertain by all of this information. Don't let it put you off getting help. Your first step is to tell someone you trust. They will then help you and guide you through all of this.
Last updated: 03 August 2015