Who is at risk and the signs
The signs that a child is a victim of abuse and information about reporting.
On this page:
There are children who may be more at risk to child sexual abuse. They may have:
- A history of abuse, neglect or disadvantage
- Disrupted family life such as family broken apart, or domestic abuse
- A poor education attendance record and isolation from other support mechanisms
- Gone missing from home or care environments
- Drug and alcohol misuse issues
- Been homeless
- Poor health and wellbeing, social isolation, bullying or low self-esteem.
The following are indicators of child sexual abuse. This list is not exhaustive. It might help with spotting the signs of a victim:
- Staying out late or episodes of being missing overnight or longer
- Multiple callers (unknown adults/older young people)
- Unplanned pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Peers involved in sexual exploitation
- Drugs/alcohol misuse
- Isolation from their friends and social networks
- Unexplained absences from school or college
- Relationships with controlling adults
- Entering or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults
- Unexplained amounts of money, expensive clothing or other items
- Often being in areas known for adult prostitution
- Children under 13 years asking for sexual health advice
- Concerning use of the internet/mobile phone.
If you are a child or young person call Childline on 0800 1111.
- Crimestoppers: call 0800 555 111
- Police Scotland: call 101 (or in an emergency 999)
- ParentLine Scotland: call 0800 028 2233 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Parent Line's opening hours are from 9am-10pm (Mon-Fri). They are open 12 noon-8pm at weekends
- NSPCC: If you are an adult and worried about a child you can call the 24 hour NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.
Stop It Now for free confidential advice for offenders or those worried about their behaviour.