Child abuse can mean a lot of different things such as neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse – it’s not always easy to know if you or someone you know is being abused. But the important thing to remember is that no-one has the right to hurt you or make you do anything that feels wrong.

If you think you are being abused, it is important to talk someone who you trust. Or you can call and ask to speak to a social worker on 0208 726 6400 (24 hours), or call Childline on 0800 1111 for advice.


The different types of abuse can be described as:

Sexual abuse

This can happen to anyone – boys or girls. It can be if you’re being touched in a way you don’t like, being forced to have sex, being forced to look at sexual pictures or videos, being forced to watch someone do something sexual or being made to do something sexual to someone that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you are being sexually abused it’s not your fault and you’re not alone.

Emotional abuse

This is when someone tries to make you feel bad. This can be saying things on purpose to scare you, put you down, humiliate or hurt you.


This is when you are not being looked after or supervised properly. If the people who are supposed to look after you don’t give you the important things you need, or make it hard for you to take care of yourself, then that’s neglect.

Physical abuse

This is when someone deliberately hurts or injures you. Hitting, kicking, beating with objects, throwing and shaking are all 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.


To find out more on Child Abuse, check out these websites:


Information and advice on Abuse and Safety.


Neglect Matters – A guide for young people about Neglect.

Metropolitan Police Guidance for Children/Young People

Information aimed at children including frequently asked questions.

NHS South London
Met Police
NHS Croydon Health Services
NHS Croydon Clinical
Safer London