Discovering your child has been sexually abused is a traumatic experience. Dr Elly Hanson, clinical psychologist and adviser to CEOP, provides some advice about how to support them.
Child sexual exploitation is rare, but it does take place all over the UK. Knowing the warning signs and what to do will help you to act quickly if you believe that your child is at risk.
A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact, and it can happen online. Sometimes the child won't understand that what's happening to them is abuse.
When someone wants to sexually abuse a child they may try to 'groom' them. It's important to understand this process so you can spot the signs and protect your child.
An increasing number of children are being sexually abused over webcam. This can be just as harmful as 'contact' sexual abuse. Ensure your children know they can get help at any time and find out what you can do to support them.
Dr Elly Hanson, clinical psychologist and adviser to CEOP, provides some guidance and things to think about if you discover that your child has sexually harmed another.