A young boy sitting against a wall with a sad, worried expression in his face looking off into the distance.

Sexual abuse or molestation is where a child or young person is used for the sexual stimulation of an adult or older adolescent.

Child sexual abuse can take many forms. For example, it can include: 

  • Touching genitals or breasts

  • Kissing

  • Showing you pornography or using you to produce pornography

  • Sending sexual images or speaking in a sexually explicit way in that makes you uncomfortable

  • Making you watch them touch themselves or forcing you to touch yourself for their sexual pleasure

  • Oral or penetrative sex

What to do if you are being sexually abused

The most important thing to remember is that it is never your fault. The first time it happens, you may not even realise that you are experiencing sexual abuse.

It’s also common for the adult or older teen to try to make you feel ashamed of what has happened so that you will keep it a secret and not be tempted to tell anyone.

They might also suggest that no one will believe you or that you’ll be sorry if you tell anyone.

Even though it is scary, don’t fall into this trap. This is what the abuser wants so that they can continue to do as they please and maybe even do it to someone else.

The only way to stop the abuse is to report it.

Who you can turn to for help

If you have an adult that you trust in your life, whether it’s a parent, relative or teacher, let them know what’s happening.

If you’re not sure who you can trust or worry that you will be blamed or judged for what has happened, Childline is always there to listen and support you in making the right decision for you.

You can get in touch by calling 1800 666666 or using the Live Message button on our website.

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