Abuse

If you are being abused it's really important to get some support to help you understand and cope with what has happened.

There are different types of abuse but they all have one thing in common, it is never the fault of the person being abused.

Emotional abuse is often more difficult to spot than physical abuse but it can be just as damaging for those being abused, and there is help available. It includes any form of bullying, anything that makes you fell frightened or in danger,or being made to feel as though you are worthless or unloved.

Physical abuse can be when someone hits or slaps you, often leaving physical scars and bruising.

Sexual abuse is a sexual act carried out on someone without their consent. It includes doing sexual things to people while they are asleep, pressurising someone into doing something sexual they don't want to do and forcing or manipulating someone to witness or participate in any sexual acts apart from penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth which is classed as rape.

It is very common for people who sexually abuse another person to make threats like "I will hurt you if you tell anyone". This is the abuser's way of trying to scare and control the other person into keeping the abuse a secret, so they don't get found out.

Often an abuser can be a parent or step-parent, someone who you know and trust or someone older or stronger who wields power over you.

Unfortunately abusive relationships don't get better on their own, in fact they often get worse over time.

If you are being abused, or have been abused in the past, it's really important that you speak to someone about it so that you can get some help.

You can contact any of the following services:

ChildLine 0800 1111

ChildLine is a free and confidential counselling service for under 18s. This means they won't tell anyone about your call. A counsellor on the helpline can listen to what you are going through and offer you support and advice.

Victim Support 0845 3030900

Victim Support is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime. They offer free and confidential help to victims of crime, their family, friends and anyone else affected.

Refuge 0808 2000 247

Refuge is a national charity for women and children experiencing violence at home.

Relate 0300 100 1234

Relate offer advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation, consultations and support face-to-face, by phone and through this website.

Lots of young people's services will be able to offer you support too, or you can get in touch with Ask Brook. Ask Brook is confidential. That means we won't tell anyone you contacted us unless we think you're in really serious danger.

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