Sexual abuse and sexual assault
Scared? Need help right now?
I'm in danger…
If you are in immediate danger please phone 999.
I think I'm being abused…
No one deserves to be abused by a person they love or live with. Domestic abuse is any threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people who are or have been in a relationship, or between family members. Read more about it here.
Violence in young people's relationships is always taken seriously. It can be:
It can include:
- Financial control
- Exchanging money for sex
If you are forced to change your behaviour because you are frightened of your boyfriend or girlfriend's reaction, it is likely you are being abused.
Click here to access advice and services to keep yourself safe and find information if the abuse is happening to someone else in your home.
I think I'm being sexually abused…
If this happens to a child or young person, this can often be described as child sexual exploitation.
No-one has the right to sexually abuse you. If you have said yes to something in the past, you do not have to say yes to it again. You can always decide to say no. There are people who can help you if you tell them – click here for services that can help.
Will anyone else know if I contact a service?
As a young person, you are entitled to confidentiality. However, the professional people you talk to might need to speak to someone like a social worker if they are worried about your safety or that of a young person with whom you are involved.
They will not do anything without discussing this with you first, so tell them if you have any worries. They must take your worries seriously.
Many of the websites also give an option for hiding their use from the search history, and telephone numbers will not be itemised on bills.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault happens when someone touches another person in a sexual manner without their consent. Or when someone makes another person take part in a sexual activity with them without that person's consent.
It could include:
- Attempted rape
- Touching someone's breasts or genitals – including through clothing
- Touching any other part of the body for sexual pleasure or in a sexual manner – for example, stroking someone's thigh or rubbing their back
- Pressing up against another person for sexual pleasure
- Pressuring, manipulating or scaring someone into performing a sexual act
- Touching someone's clothing if done for sexual pleasure or in a sexual manner – for example, lifting up someone's skirt
Sexual assault and consent
Sexual violence or assault can happen to anyone of any age.
Sexual assault is an act that is carried out without a person's active consent. This means they did not agree to it.
Consent means saying "yes" to what happened.
- Being intoxicated, is not consent.
- Not being asked, is not consent.
- Saying nothing, or saying yes to something else, is not consent.
- Being in a relationship or married to someone is not consent.
Read more about consent here.
Sexual assault and rape
If you have been sexually assaulted, it is not your fault.
Sexual violence is a crime, no matter who commits it or where or when it happens. It is important to consider getting medical help as soon as possible for any injuries, any risk of pregnancy, and if you want the crime to be investigated.
Get the support you need.
Talk to someone who you trust or feel comfortable with, such as a parent, friend, teacher, youth worker, social worker or doctor.
You can also speak directly to someone at one of the organisations below, offering specialist support after sexual assault or rape.
Specialist centres in London for people who have been sexually assaulted or raped.
Telephone 020 3299 1599
Lines open 24 hours a day,
7 days a week
Women & Girls Network
Live Chat: One to one Live Chat text service Monday to Thursday 10am – 4pm
Helpline: Free and confidential emotional support from a specialist helpline team.
Tel: 0808 801 0770