What Should I do if I think I am being abused?

What should I do if I think that I am being abused? 

If you think that you, or someone you care about, is being abused you should always tell someone like a trusted adult, the police or a social worker. The law says that it is their job to do all they can to keep you safe from further harm.

Sometimes it is not easy speaking to the police or a social worker about these things. If you feel this way it is important that you ask an adult you trust to help you speak out against your abuse.

Will I be believed if I tell someone? This is a very important question because many children fear that they won’t be believed if they tell someone about abuse. Often, people who abuse children tell them that no one will believe them. This is not true. The police and social workers understand how important it is that they listen very carefully when children are trying to tell them about some of the bad things adults are doing to them.

Sometimes children feel guilty themselves, thinking they have made adults do bad things to them or should have done something to make it stop. It is not your fault!! Adults who abuse children know exactly what they are doing and it is they, not you, who are responsible for their actions.

What if I’m worried that I’ll be taken away from my family? It is only natural to worry that you may be taken into care, away from your family, friends and school. However, in truth, most social work visits to check that children are being cared for safely do not lead to them being removed from their family home. The police and social workers want to do what is best to make sure that children are safe and properly looked after. The law means that children have the right to be kept safe from being harmed, perhaps by abuse from adults, or because adults do not understand how to look after them. (Taken from Young Person’s Guide to Keeping Children Safe by the Office of Children’s Rights Director)

Each year, only a small number of children are received into care; this can only happen if this is the best way to help keep children safe from harm. If you do go into care everything possible will be done to listen to your views and act on your wishes and feelings. Social workers must plan for you to return home if this is safe for you. And, if for any reason you can’t go back to your parents’ care or to other members of your family, they will help you find you a home where you will have all the personal care you need to enjoy your childhood and grow into a successful adult. (Taken from Young Person’s Guide to Keeping Children Safe by the Office of Children’s Rights Director)