Staying safe from abuse,
child sexual exploitation and grooming

Identify risky situations

We want to make sure that young people have an awareness of exploitation, abuse and unhealthy relationships. We want to help them understand risky situations and learn how to keep safe. Below they will find detailed information which will help them, their friends and their college community stay safe, happy and well.

Child sexual exploitation and grooming

Child sexual exploitation is a situation where a young person, under the age of 18 is being pressured or forced into a sexual relationship with someone else because that person is giving them something in return. It could be that the young person is receiving money, food, drugs, housing, gifts or even just affection in return for sex.

How does it happen?
It could be that an older person has spent a long time getting to know a young person, in order to then initiate a sexually exploitative relationship, often making them feel special by giving them gifts or lots of attention - this process is known as ‘grooming.’ Even if someone says they care about them and sometimes makes them feel really good, it’s wrong for them to make them feel upset or frightened and it’s wrong for them to try and control or pressurise them. Be aware this can also happen online.

Who does it happen to?
Sexual exploitation can happen to anyone, boys or girls and sometimes it can be difficult to know when they are being exploited. It might feel like someone is being really nice to them, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to end up doing something bad. Being sexually exploited in this way is never the fault of the young person and there are lots of ways in which they can get help if they find themself in this situation.

Who can help?

  • In an emergency call 999.

  • Parent/carer.

  • school nurse or teacher or a trusted member of staff.

  • Childline: 0800 11 11.

  • A member of the Safeguarding Team.

  • If they are concerned about a young person they can also call the NSPCC 24 hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 or text 88858.


There are a number of different types of abuse and anyone can be at risk. The most important thing is to talk to someone about their situation so they can get the help they need. The four types of abuse are:

Emotional abuse

  • Name-calling and insults.

  • Controlling behaviour and checking up on them.

  • Being made to feel they are worthless and that the abuse is their own fault.

Physical abuse

  • Hitting.

  • Kicking.

  • Punching.

  • Using weapons.

Sexual abuse

  • Forcing them to have sex.

  • Touching or kissing them when they don’t want to be touched.

  • Not being allowed to use contraception.

  • Being made to watch pornography.

Financial abuse

  • Taking their money or controlling what they do with it.

  • Making them buy things for other people.

  • Making them work or stop them getting a job.

Domestic violence and abuse

What is domestic violence and abuse?
Domestic violence is abuse which takes place between two people over 16 who are in an intimate relationship together or are family members. The abuse can take many forms including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality, and it may not always or exclusively involve violence i.e. being hit, punched or kicked. It could be that their partner or a family member threatens them, shoves or pushes them or makes them feel scared or frightened. They may act in a very possessive or jealous way and try to control what they do and where they go, or make them feel bad about themself by insulting them and making hurtful remarks.

What to do if it happens to them
It can be difficult to tell someone that they are experiencing or witnessing domestic violence. It may be that they feel it is their fault or that their loved one is going through a bad time and will soon change. However, this form of abuse is serious and if it happens to them or they witness it within their family, it is really important that they tell someone so that they can get help. It is important to seek help before they find themself in an emergency situation where abuse has escalated. They must remember that it is not their fault and that they are not alone.

Who can help?

  • In an emergency call 999.

  • School nurse or teacher or a trusted member of staff.

  • A member of the Safeguarding Team.

  • National Domestic Violence Freephone helpline open 24 hours 0808 2000 247.

  • National Centre for Domestic Violence or 0844 8044 999.

  • Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327or 0800 999 5428.

Faith abuse

What is faith abuse?
Faith abuse is a type of abuse linked to faith, religion or belief. The belief in witchcraft, possession and supernatural forces can result in extremely serious cases of child abuse.

When faith abuse happens, adults may believe that a child has been possessed by the devil or that they are a witch, and this may be used to explain any behaviour which the adult disapproves of. There may be attempts to ‘cure’ or punish the child which then furthers the abuse. Children with disabilities can be at an increased risk and the abuse may come from one individual, but wider family members, communities and faith leaders may also be involved. Abuse may be physical, emotional, sexual or may take the form of neglect.

Is it illegal?
Faith abuse is a crime. Although everyone’s religion, culture and beliefs should be respected, beliefs that lead to abuse cannot be tolerated.

If this issue has affected them or someone they know it is important to seek help.

Who can help?

  • School nurse or teacher or a trusted member of staff.

  • A member of the Safeguarding Team.

  • Childline 0800 1111.

  • Children & Families Across Borders or advice line 020 7735 8941.

  • NSPCC - If they are worried about a child or call their 24 hour helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Gender based violence against women

What is gender based violence against women?
This term is used to describe violence and abuse that is specifically targeted towards women. It includes rape and sexual violence, domestic abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Sometimes women experience violent behaviour from strangers but they may also be the victims of violence from people they know or are in a relationship with. Domestic and sexual violence often takes place behind closed doors and women may suffer in silence, feeling too frightened or ashamed to tell anyone, but the women involved are not responsible for the violence being inflicted upon them and should seek help in order to end it.

How can it be stopped?
There is a lot of support available to help women who are the victims of violence. The first step is to talk to someone if this is something which is happening to them. In March 2014 a new law known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or ‘Clare’s Law’ was introduced which allows individuals to check with the police to find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence.

Who can help?

Teenage relationship abuse

What is teenage relationship abuse?
Relationship abuse is when someone they are in a relationship with hurts or upsets them. Abuse doesn’t just happen in adult relationships or marriages, it can affect all people, including young people and teenagers in relationships. There are different types of abuse which can happen in a relationship.

All types of abuse can make them feel scared, depressed and ashamed. They may feel that they just can’t go on and this is why it is so important to get help.

Who can help?
None of these types of abuse should be tolerated and it is really important to remember that it is never their fault. There is lots of help and support available, and if this issue affects them the first step is to tell someone about it.

  • School nurse or teacher or a trusted member of staff.

  • Childline 0800 1111.

  • National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247.

  • Respect Not Fear helps them decide what is a healthy relationship

  • The Hideout is for young people experiencing domestic abuse


Emotional support for children and young people on issues relating to child abuse, bullying etc.
0800 1111

Missing People
If you are thinking of running away.
116 000

If you are concerned about a young person you can call the NSPCC 24 hour helpline on
0808 800 5000 or text 88858.

National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247

National Centre for Domestic Violence
0844 8044 999

Men’s Advice Line
0808 801 0327 or
0800 999 5428

Respect Not Fear
Helps you decide what is a healthy relationship.

The Hideout
For young people experiencing domestic abuse.

Children & Families Across Borders
020 7735 8941

A charity which supports women who are the victims of domestic violence and they run a free 24 hour helpline 0808 2000 247 or visit

Women’s aid
Domestic Violence support and advice

Rape Crisis
Support and advice

Female Genital Mutilation
Information and support

Forced Marriage
Information and support