Sexual Abuse

Any child or young person, regardless of gender, ethnicity, family background or sexual orientation, may experience child sexual abuse.

There are children who may be deemed more at risk due their circumstances.

Do you know anyone how has or is:

  • A history of abuse, neglect and/or disadvantage
  • Being looked after, or formerly looked after
  • Disrupted family life, including family breakdown, domestic violence and/or problematic parenting
  • Disengagement from education and isolation from other support mechanisms
  • Going missing from home or care environments
  • Drug and alcohol misuse
  • Homelessness
  • Poor health and wellbeing, social isolation, bullying or low self-esteem

What are the signs?

These are some indicators of child sexual abuse. This list is not exhaustive but might help with spotting the signs of a victim.

Do you know anyone how has or is:

  • Staying out late or episodes of being missing overnight or longer
  • Multiple callers (unknown adults/older young people)
  • Evidence of/ suspicion of physical or sexual assault disclosure of assault followed by withdrawal of a reported incident
  • Unplanned pregnancy and/or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  • Peers involved in sexual exploitation
  • Drugs/alcohol misuse
  • Isolation from peers/social networks
  • Exclusion or unexplained absences from school or college
  • Relationships with controlling adults
  • Entering/leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults
  • Unexplained amounts of money, expensive clothing or other items
  • Frequenting areas known for adult prostitution
  • Children under 13 years asking for sexual health advice
  • Concerning use of the internet/mobile phone

For more information on spotting the signs visit Child Sexual Exploitation - The Signs

Got info – report it

If you need help or know someone who needs help call Childline on 0800 1111.

You can also contact:

  • Crimestoppers: call 0800 555 111.
  • Police Scotland: call 101 (or in an emergency 999).
  • ParentLine Scotland: call 0800 028 2233 or email: Parent Line's opening hours are from 9am-10pm (Mon-Fri) and 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.