Types of abuse
If you or someone you know are in immediate danger
Physical abuse is when someone deliberately hurts or injures you. Hitting, kicking, hair pulling, beating with objects, burning, throwing and shaking are all forms of physical abuse, and can cause pain, cuts, bruising, broken bones and sometimes even death. No one has the right to hurt you in this way. Physical abuse can happen as a single event or over a longer period of time.
If someone is always telling you that you're ugly, fat, stupid, worthless, or that they wish you'd never been born, or being made to feel you have to be the best at everything, that's emotional abuse. It's wrong, even if they are not doing it on purpose. It is also important to understand that this is not your fault.
Sexual abuse is when a child or young person is pressurised, forced, tricked or intimidated into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with an adult or another young person. This can include kissing, touching the young person's genitals (private parts) or breasts, intercourse or oral sex, looking at or taking part in pornography. It can happen to anyone - boys and girls. If you are being sexually abused it's not your fault and you're not alone.
Neglect is when you are not being looked after or supported properly by your parents or carers (including foster parents or care staff, if you are in care). If the people who are supposed to look after you don't usually give you the important things you need, or make it hard for you to take care of yourself, then this is neglect.
Child sexual exploitation
When a child or young person under the age of 18 is in a relationship with an adult (over 18), even if they claim to be a friend /boyfriend, and if this person is offering something (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gifts, money) in exchange for sexual activities, this is considered to be child exploitation.
Check out who to contact if you are worried about child exploitation for further information.
There are sometimes signs to look out for if you are worried that someone you know could be being abused, check out our guide on what are the signs of abuse.