Thousands of cases of child sexual abuse are reported in the UK each year - and right now children are less seen and less heard. 

Play or pause video

Studies show that one in 6 children experience sexual abuse before the age of 18. We also know that the impact of COVID-19 means that children may find it harder to report sexual offences.

This is unacceptable. At Barnardo’s, we understand the reality of sexual abuse:

It can happen to any child.

Abusers come from all walks of life.

Every child affected by sexual abuse needs support so that they can be made safe and start to recover.

How we help young people

Throughout the pandemic, our support workers are still there for children and young people who’ve been affected by sexual abuse. They help young people on their path to recovery, reassuring them at every step and rebuilding their confidence.

The work is hard and complex but with the right help at the right time, children can recover and thrive. 

Our workers supported 7,300 people in 2018-19 through our Child Abuse and Exploitation services in 45 locations across the UK. We’ve been supporting children and young people affected by sexual abuse since 1994.

We also campaign for change.

We're calling on the Government to make sure all children who've experienced sexual abuse aren’t missing out on support. Read our briefing for more information.

If you're a child or young person worried about sexual abuse, or if you're a parent or carer worried about your child or you have been affected by our advert, find out how you can get help.

Too many children miss out on our vital support. We urgently need your help to reach more children and young people affected by sexual abuse, so that they can start to recover. Donate now to show you believe.

Find out more

  • Support our work

    Help us reach more young people

  • Get help

    Where to get support for yourself or someone else

  • Child sexual abuse

    Helpful information from our practitioners