We support thousands of children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse. We make them safe and help them recover.
What is child sexual abuse?
It involves forcing or persuading a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This includes acts that involve physical contact such as:
- assault by penetration
- non-penetrative acts (e.g. masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching)
It also includes:
- involving children in looking at (or making) sexual images
- watching sexual acts
- encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways
- grooming a child (including via the internet)
How we help
We've been supporting children and young people affected by sexual abuse since 1994. At the end of 2019/20 we were running 76 child abuse and exploitation services across the UK, including:
therapy and counselling
supporting children and young people through court proceedings when abusers are prosecuted
supporting the wider family
increasing public awareness of sexual abuse
It’s vital that adults are aware of the issue so that they can help a child who might be affected.
Emergencies and Out of Hours Support
If you think a child is in immediate danger, dial 999 or contact your local authority social care department, or the NSPCC.
If you are a child and you need help, call Childline’s 24-hour support service on 0800 11 11.
If you'd like to speak to our Supporter Relationships team during business hours, please call on 0800 008 7005 or email at [email protected]. We’re open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
If you are concerned about a Barnardo's employee, volunteer or carer, call the relevant national or regional office and speak to a Barnardo's senior manager or children's services representative.
For more information about getting help for you or somebody else, please see our Get Help page.