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What to do if you suspect a child is being abused

Child abuse prevention - what to do if you suspect child abuse

If you are a concerned family member, friend, neighbour or acquaintance of someone you may think is at risk of abuse there are a number of steps you could take to help safeguard the child.

Child abuse damages lives and it is usually those who are most vulnerable that tend to be targeted. However detecting that something is wrong can be very difficult indeed.

Whilst these steps are not ones to take lightly, if your suspicions are causing you to feel alarmed and if you genuinely believe that a child may be at risk, it is better to make an enquiry with the authorities rather than simply doing nothing.

Every situation is very different and you must apply your own common sense and knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the child, to form a view.

Child abuse prevention – what you can do: 

1) Contact your local council child protection service More commonly referred to as “childrens services” within the social work units. They will treat all enquiries seriously and in the strictest of confidence.

See our table of children services in all regions covering the whole of the UK.

Local council child protection units ENGLAND

Newcastle Upon Tyne
Cumbria
North Yorkshire
West Yorkshire

Manchester
Birmingham
Sheffield
Cambridge and Peterborough

Nottingham
Northampton
Bristol
Watford

City of London
Croydon
Barnet
Bromley

Lewisham
Camden
Portsmouth
Southampton

Plymouth
 

Local council child protection units WALES

Cardiff
Wrexham

Local council child protection units SCOTLAND

Glasgow
Edinburgh

 
 
2) Contact the NSPCC. This charity continue to provide immense support and guidance from trained counsellors who know exactly what to do when faced with a potential child abuse issue. More here

Published: 20 November 2015
Updated: 25 February 2017