Help for young people

Neglect and abuse

Every child and young person has the right to be looked after properly. If you’re not getting the important things you need at home, you could be being neglected.

If an adult harms a child or young person, it is called child abuse. Child abuse can also happen between brothers and sisters.

What is abuse?

Is it happening to you? (take the quiz)

Who can help?


Abuse is anything another person does that's meant to cause harm. But it's not always easy to know what's abuse or what to do about it.

Child abuse can be: 

• Physical – such as hitting, slapping, kicking, pinching 

• Emotional – bullying, calling you names, making you feel bad, hurting your pets 

• Sexual – touching your private body parts, making you touch someone  else’s private parts, forcing you to have sex 

• Neglect – not giving you things you need like food, clothing or adequate care; not talking to you or ignoring you  When children and young people hurt each other – with what they say or do – this is usually called bullying rather than child abuse. 

Domestic abuse is when an adult does one or more of the things listed above to another adult.  If this is happening in your home there is support available for you.

Abuse is never your fault. If you think you are being abused help is available. 

Is it happening to you?  Take the quiz here for guidance.

If this is happening to you, it’s really important to get help. The first thing to do is talk to someone you trust. Whoever’s hurting you may have told you not to tell anyone, but don’t keep it a secret.  Even if the person harming you says that something awful will happen if you tell, remember it’s OK to talk about what’s happened. No one has the right to hurt you or anyone you know – it’s against the law. 

Who can help?

If you are being neglected or abused, help is available.  You can call or text 116 000 for confidential help and advice, click on one of the links on this page or contact us (the police) direct on:

Tel: 101 or 999 if you are in immediate danger.


Webchat: click here.

If you would prefer not to speak to the police you can contact Children's Services in your area:

Children’s services

For online information or for seeking help through a referral.

Devon MASH - Tel:  0345 1551071; Email:


Torbay MASH - Tel: 01803 208100; Email:


Plymouth MASH - Tel: 01752 668000; Email:


Cornwall and IOS - Tel: 01720 424483; Email:



Children’s and Adolescents Mental Health Service





National support agencies/charities:

 Childline: Tel: 0800 111 or message board online

NSPCC : Tel: 0800 8005000; Web:

Samaritans: Tel: 116123; Web:

Stop CSE: Tel:  116000; Web:

Lucy Faithful Foundation (regarding online indecent images) - or

SHOUT: Tel: Text service to contact a trained volunteer for mental health crisis – 85258; Web:

Young Minds mental health support: Web:

24/7 Children & Young People Mental Health Helpline (Plymouth): Web:


(online safety and reporting online abuse)


Information for young people worried about Coronavirus

The Hide Out

Support for young people experiencing domestic abuse


General support for young people (inc. young carers and children in care)

Are you ok? – Torbay website providing localised help around abuse and violence.

Child protection page on Devon & Cornwall website:







Content uploaded: 17/07/2020 08:44 | Modified: 24/07/2020 14:32