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Child abuse

Child abuse can be scary, confusing and make you feel like you are on your own. It can often be difficult to know if something that's happening to you is abuse but remember no-one has the right to hurt you or make you do things that feel wrong.

If you think you or a friend is being abused, remember, you’re not alone there are people who can help (See 'Want to talk to someone? at the bottom of the page).

Often the abuse can be caused by people close to you like parents, relatives or other people you trust.

Even if you’re not sure it is abuse, speak out.

There are four main types of abuse: emotional, neglect, physical and sexual.

Emotional abuse – is when a child is often told negative things such as that they are worthless, stupid, unloved or inadequate. It may also include not giving the child the chance to say their views, deliberately telling them to be quiet or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they say something or behave.

Find out more about emotional abuse.

Neglect – is when a child is frequently not provided with enough or good enough food, clothing, accommodation, protection from physical and emotional harm or danger, or access to medical care or treatment.

Find out more about neglect.

Physical abuse – is when a child is often physically hurt by someone, such as by hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating them.

It can also be when an adult (usually a parent or carer) says a child’s illness or injury is worse than it really is or makes the child feel ill on purpose such as by giving them something to eat or drink.

Find out more about physical abuse.

Sexual abuse – is when a child or young person is encouraged or forced into taking part in sexual activities.  It isn’t always violent and the child may not realise what they are being made to do. It can include kissing, touching of genitals (private parts) or breasts, intercourse or oral sex.

Find out more about sexual abuse.

Find out more

You can find out more by visiting the ChildLine website

To find out what the police are doing to stop child abuse visit the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website

Want to talk to someone?

If you are being abused or you are worried someone you know might be then it is important to tell someone who you can trust and will believe you like a teacher, school nurse, youth worker or doctor. You can also contact the County Council direct by ringing the Cambridgeshire Call Centre on 0345 045 5200 (8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday or Social care on 01733 234724 at all other times).

If for any reason you are unable to talk to any of these people you can call Childline on 0800 111 or report it to the police by calling 101 for non-emergencies (or 999 if someone’s life is in danger). The Police have a dedicated team called the Child Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (CAISU), which investigates all types of abuse against children by family members.

They also investigate crimes committed against children by people who are in a position of trust, such as teachers, nursery staff and other people involved in working with children.

Find out more about what the police are doing to tackle child abuse.

Content for this page was provided by Cambridgeshire Constabluary


Also take a look at our "Abuse" page in the "Emergency" section for more information on getting help locally.

Domestic Abuse - Abuse can also be coming from a partner (boyfriend or girlfriend)..... see our page on Domestic Abuse for more information

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