Children and Young People

Have you been sexually abused? Would you like to talk to someone who understands?

We are a service that works with children and young people who have been sexually abused. Once the Police or a Social Worker has been about what has happened to you, we can offer you a safe space where you can unravel your thoughts and fears with a person who respects your confidentiality and who will not be shocked or upset by what they hear. We will help teach you how to cope with the effects of the abuse to make you a stronger person who can go forward to a much happier and more positive life.

Q: I think I am being sexually abused

A: Your body is yours. No-one has the right to touch you. Your body belongs to you, especially your private parts. If someone is touching, in any way, or looking at the private parts of your body (the bits that go under your swimming costume) you are being sexually abused. If you are being made to touch or look at the private parts of someone else’s body you are being sexually abused. If you are being shown pictures, videos, films on cameras, I-pads computers or TV’s of naked people or nearly naked people standing still or doing things to each other or you are having photos or films taken without your clothes on you are being sexually abused.

Q: I am being abused. What should I do?

A: Tell an adult you trust: maybe your mum, a family member, your teacher, school nurse, doctor, or a friend's mum. If they do not help tell someone else or dial 101.

Q: I think my sister/brother/friend is being sexually abused. What should I do?

A: Talk to them. Let them know you care. Tell an adult you can trust such as your mum or another family member, your teacher, or the School Nurse.

Q: My friend has told me that they are being sexually abused but said I must not tell anyone. What should I do?

A: Sometimes we cannot keep secrets as secrets are dangerous. Your friend is being harmed and he/she is hurting so much he/she had to tell someone. Now you are hurting because you are worrying. You need to be brave and talk to a safe adult. Is there a teacher you can talk to? If not your mum, the school nurse or you can telephone the police 101 or your local Social Services.

Q: What will the police do if I tell someone about the abuse?

A: The police will speak to your parent and interview you with a social worker present.

Q: What will Social Service do if I tell someone about the abuse?

A: They will make sure you are safe and that the alleged abuser is not having contact with you whist the investigation is going on.

Q: Will I be taken into Care if I tell someone about the abuse?

A: There is no reason for you to be taken into care. Social Services is concerned that your mum or carer is making sure that you do not have any contact with the alleged abuser.

Q: Will my abuser be put into prison?

A: Unfortunately not many cases go to court this is because it is difficult to prove. The victim says it happened and the alleged abuser says it did not. Unless there is other evidence such as a witness or forensic evidence it is unlikely to go to court and get a conviction.

Q: Will I have to go to Court?

A: If your case has enough evidence to go to court you will not have to sit in the courtroom.

Q: How can you help me?

A: If you live in Suffolk, Norfolk or North Essex you can be referred to us. We will work with you to help you overcome the effects of the abuse and help you feel a lot better about yourself. See what other young people have said

Q: Is it my fault?

A: Sexual abuse is never the young person’s fault. They will often be told that it is and they caused it to happen. This is a way abusers stop children and young people from telling what is happening to them. They make them feel guilty.

Q: I thought he was my boyfriend...

A: This is a trick that is often used especially in sexual exploitation. Your boyfriend will often share you amongst his ’friends’ and get paid. If this is happening to you talk to an adult you can trust or phone the police on 101.

Q: Will I be damaged?

A: Most children and young people are not damaged. If you are worried you need to talk to an adult you can trust. The cases that you hear about are usually when very young children are abused.

Q: Why did he pick me?

A: He would have been planning it for quite a while and you were just unlucky.