Q & A

  • What is sexual assault?

    In UK law, sexual assault is a crime that can be committed by both men and women against men or women. Different types of sexual assault include:

    - Being forced or pressured to do a sexual act you don’t want to do

    - Objects or parts of the body (e.g. a finger) being put into someone's vagina or anus when that person didn't want it to happen.

    - Someone being touched in a sexual way that makes him or her feel uncomfortable or frightened. This could be through their clothes (like bottom pinching).

    - Someone being made to masturbate.

    - Any other form of physical closeness that happens without consent is known as sexual assault. It can also include; watching other people having sex, 'sexting' (sending sexual images), and forcing involvement in watching or making pornography.

    If you have been sexually assaulted it is important to remember it is not your fault.

    You should tell someone you trust about what has happened so that you can get the help and support that you need. You may want to get help from a friend, a parent/carer, teacher or youth worker.

    You can also speak to the police. Most police forces have specially trained officers. You can contact the police immediately by dialling 999. You can also call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or Brook on 0808 802 1234.

  • What is rape?

    The law in the UK says that rape is when a male forces his penis into the mouth, anus or vagina of another person when that person doesn't want him to do so; the law calls this 'without consent'.

    The most important thing to remember is that being pressured or forced to have sex when you don’t want to is a crime. If you have been raped it is important to remember it is not your fault.

    You should tell someone you trust about what has happened so that you can get the help and support that you need. You may want to get help from a friend, a parent/carer, teacher or youth worker.

    You can also speak to the police. Most police forces have specially trained officers. You can contact the police immediately by dialling 999. You can also call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or Brook on 0808 802 1234.

  • Who can I talk to if I think I’m in an abusive relationship?

    It is important that you get help if you feel you are in an abusive relationship. If you have someone you trust like a parent, teacher, youth worker or social worker tell them what’s going on. If not you can talk to a number of organisations which can help you including ChildLine on 0800 1111 or Brook on 0808 802 1234.

  • Can you be sexually abused in a relationship?

    Sexual abuse in a relationship involves forcing you to do sexual acts you don’t want to do, for example forcing you to sleep with them. It could also be pressuring you to send sexual texts and images of yourself or someone sharing sexual images of you with their friends. This is always wrong.

    Sexual abuse is a crime. If someone is sexually abused it is NEVER their fault. There are people out there who understand and who can help make it stop.

    If you have been sexually abused the most important thing to do is to tell someone what has happened. Taking that first step to tell someone can be really difficult and even embarrassing. There are some tips about how to start talking to someone you trust about things which are difficult here. You can also talk to ChildLine for free any time on 0800 1111.

    CEOP helps young people who are being sexually abused or are worried that someone they’ve met is trying to abuse them. If you are being sexually abused you can report to CEOP or your local police. If you are in immediate danger please call 999.

    Learn more about abuse in relationships here.

  • What is emotional abuse?

    Emotional abuse in a relationship can involve embarrassing you or putting you down in private or in public. If your partner is jealous of you seeing other people or becomes angry when you want to spend time with your friends, this could be a sign of emotional abuse. They may try to control you by telling you what you can and can’t wear and say that you’re not allowed to see your family. They may also make you feel like you are walking on eggshells, for example, turning hot and cold or using threats to control you. These can all be signs of emotional abuse.

    Learn more about abuse in relationships here.