Child Sexual Abuse

This is when a child or young person is sexually abused, they're forced or tricked into sexual activities and may not understand what's happening is abuse or that it's wrong. Sexual abuse can happen anywhere, in person or online.

There are two types of sexual abuse, contact and non-contact abuse

  1. Contact abuse can include kissing, touching and oral sex, sexual abuse isn't just penetrative.
  2. Non-contact abuse can include; exposing or flashing, showing pornography, exposing a child or young person to sexual acts, making them masturbate.  With the use of technology, forcing a child or young person to make, view or share child abuse images or videos or forced to distribute child abuse images or videos.  This can also include forcing a child to take part in sexual activities or conversation online or through the use of smartphones.

Any child, both boys and girls are at risk of being sexually abused.  Most children and young people who have been sexually abused were abused by someone they know.  This could be a family member, a friend or someone who has targeted them.  Studies indicate that disabled children have increased risk of abuse, for example because of communication or physical barriers to getting help or they may be isolated because of their impairment.  Children with learning disabilities are also at increased risk of abuse.

What can I do to help a child or young person?

  • Listen to what they're saying
  • Let them know they have done the right thing telling you
  • Tell them it's not their fault
  • Explain what you'll do next
  • Report what they have told you as soon as possible - Police, Social Work, Teacher

Through the courts, children have a voice when it comes to abusive behaviour and violence against women & children.