Child abuse

Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional harm, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention.

It is estimated that more than half a million children are abused in the UK each year. A child is normally defined as someone under the age of 18, although there are some laws across the UK that specify different age limits in different circumstances.

If you have any concerns about the welfare or safety of a child, you must report it. It is better to raise your concerns so they can be investigated, rather than failing to tell anyone and a child possibly being exposed to further risk of harm.

In an emergency, always call 999.

To report your concerns when it’s not an emergency, call us on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016.

You can also call your local police on 101, visit your nearest police station or speak to a police officer or police community support officer in person.

Please be ready to give as many details as you can, including:

  • The name of the child or children you are calling about
  • Where they live or go to school
  • Why you have concerns about them

You can also report any concerns to your local council’s children’s services department. You will be able to find contact details on your council’s website. Find your local council.

Child abuse lgoo

Contact Us

To report a crime or incident, call

0800 40 50 40

or text 61016

In an emergency call 999

More information and support

Thinkuknow

NSPCC

Childline

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