On this page, we've compiled information and advice for children and young people, so that's it's all in one place.

We've brought together advice, helpful websites, online resources as well as contact details, so you don't have to search the internet. It's all right here.

How do I report abuse?

If you're experiencing abuse or neglect or worried about someone you know, you should tell someone like a teacher or a youth worker or some else you trust. 

You can also talk to the Children's Safeguarding/Social Work Team by phoning 01925 443322.  

If you're calling between 5.00 pm and 9.00 am, please contact us on 01925 444400.

If you believe someone has committed a crime, please contact the police on 101. However, if you or another young person is in immediate danger, please call 999.

If you don't feel like you can speak to someone you know, there are helplines and professionals available (numbers below). It can be tough to talk, but there are lots of people who can help. 

You can call national helpline numbers free of charge:

What are abuse and neglect?

Everyone has a right to be safe. Safeguarding means keeping you safe from harm or neglect.

Abuse occurs when another person harms a child or young person (17 years of age or under) either physically, verbally, emotionally or sexually. Similarly, a lack of care, love and attention showed towards a young person can also be defined as abuse. 

Lots of children and young people suffer abuse both in-person and online, as a one-off or abuse that occurs over a long period.

Abuse can be:

  • Physical abuse can mean hitting, shaking, burning, slapping, and having things thrown at you, biting and physical bullying.​​​​​​
  • Sexual abuse can occur in two different ways.
  1. Contact abuse consists of a person or people kissing you or touching your body or making you do something you don't want to do. 
  2. Non-contact abuse can involve making you look at naked images of adults, children or other young people. Similarly, someone may ask you to send/post photographs of yourself or perform sexual acts on a webcam. It can also involve being 'flashed' at by someone.

For younger children, the NSPCC promote five easy ways of staying safe in their PANTS message:

Privates are Private

Always remember your body belongs to you

No means No

Talk about secrets that upset you

Speak up someone can help

You can find out more by watching the NSPCCs short video on the underwear rule.

  • Emotional and verbal abuse can be something that is said about you that makes you feel worthless. This type of abuse can also include threatening behaviour towards you, particularly name-calling. It can also mean excessive criticism and little or no praise.​​​​​​
  • Neglect is also a form of abuse. It can be summarised as the ongoing failure to meet your most basic needs. You might be left hungry, dirty or without proper clothing, shelter, supervision or health care.  

For more information on young people who've experienced abuse or neglect, please have a look at the NICE guide.

Healthy relationships

A healthy relationship should consist of these six things: 

  • good communication
  • mutual respect
  • trust
  • honesty
  • equality
  • being yourself

Childline - healthy/unhealthy relationships

What's an Abusive Relationship?

If your relationship leaves you feeling scared, intimidated or controlled, you may be in an abusive relationship.

Remember that controlling or threatening behaviour can be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or psychological.

Watch this short video - 'Listen to your selfie'.

What does consent mean?

Giving consent means that you've agreed to do something.

You're comfortable with your decision, and no one has forced you to make that decision. You can change your mind at any point.  

Have a look at these videos on consent from the 'Disrespect nobody' website and Thames Valley Police.

Consent to sex

Having sex without consent (which means they don't want to have sex) is illegal and is called rape.

If you think you've been raped, contact RASASC Specialist Sexual Violence Support for Cheshire and Merseyside Monday to Friday 9.00 am - 4.00 pm.

  • Information and helpline: 0330 363 0063
  • Warrington helpline: 01925 221546

If you need to speak to someone for emotional support/advice out of these hours here are several options:

  • Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre open every day between 12.00 - 2.30 and 7 - 9.30 pm:  0808 802 9999
  • Samaritans (24hr emotional support line): 08457 90 90 90
  • ChildLine (24hr emotional support line for people 18 years and under): 0800 11 11
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood (helpline weekdays and evenings): 0808 801 0331
  • Survivors UK (Helpline for male survivors of rape/sexual abuse open 7.00 pm-10.00 pm Mon/Tue/Thu): 0845 122 1201
What is sexting?

Sexting involves sending a sexual message, photo or video to someone else. It could be a picture of you, but sometimes people send pictures and videos of other people.

Messages could be to a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or someone online.

Sexting includes:

  • being partly or entirely naked
  • posing in a sexual position
  • sending 'nudes' or pictures of your genitals
  • talking about sexual things you're doing or want to do
  • doing sexual things on a live stream

Childline - online mobile safety/sexting

Watch this short video - 'Listen to your selfie'.

What is 'revenge porn'?

Revenge porn can be summarised as sharing private, sexual materials, photos or videos, of other people without their consent.

The offence can involve:

  • Uploading images on the internet
  • Sharing photos by text and email
  • Showing someone a physical or electronic image

If you're over 18 and someone's shared a naked or sexual picture of you without consent, it's illegal.

Revenge pornography helpline

Childline - report nude image online

For help about relationships visit these following websites:

Disrespect Nobody website

Childline - healthy/unhealthy relationships

Online safety

Being online can feel just like being in the real world - you can chat, play games and share pictures.

But how can you stay safe online?

  • Don't post any personal information online such as your address, email or mobile number. Don't tell people your last name, the name of your school, sports teams, the town you live in and where you hang out.
  • Please think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself; chances are they'll remain there forever! Avoid posting photos that let people identify you, especially images of yourself which could be considered sexual. Before uploading a photo, think about how you'd feel if a family member saw it. If you wouldn't want any of those people to see the image – then don't post it for the world to see.
  • Keep your privacy settings as high as possible. You should only accept people you know and trust as friends. Remember - people may pretend to be younger than they are to try and make friends with you.
  • Never give out your passwords. Don't pick obvious passwords - like your pet's name, your best friend or favourite pop star or group.
  • Don't make friends with people you don't know.
  • Cover your webcam when you're not using it. Some viruses can give access to your webcam without you knowing.
  • Never meet someone you meet online if you haven't met them face to face before. If you've only met the person on the internet, then how can you know them? Online, people can pretend to be anyone and any age. Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do this.
  • Respect other people's views, even if you disagree. Having differences of opinion doesn't mean you need to be rude.
  • If you see something online, that makes you feel uncomfortable, leave the website and turn off your computer. When this happens, it's always best to confide in a trusted adult. 
  • Be honest about your age - membership rules are there to protect you. If you're too young to sign up, don't lie about your age.
  • Watch out for phishing and scams. Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving information, such as your password. Never click links from emails or messages that ask you to log in or share your details, even if you think they might be genuine. 

How to report concerns

  • If someone you're talking to online does or says something that makes you feel upset, worried, or uncomfortable, you need to report it. Especially if you've been asked to do things that you don't want to. If this happens, you must remember that it's not your fault.
  • Don't worry about being in trouble – you're not the one who has done anything wrong.
  • Always tell a trusted adult. And if you can, save the messages that have upset you to show to the trusted adult.

You can can also report online abuse to Child Exploitation and Online Protection.

CEOP website

The CEOP website includes answers to questions such as:

  • Should I make a report to CEOP?
  • What happens when I make a report?
  • How can CEOP Help Me?

To report online material that promotes terrorism or extremism, visit GOV.UK.

Report terrorism

Further support and advice

You'll find additional help and advice about online safety at:

Think U Know website

CEOP website

Childnet website

Get Safe Online website

NSPCC website

Digizen.org website

Are you being bullied?

Bullying can happen anywhere, to anyone at any age. It can involve someone pushing, hitting, teasing or calling you names, or freezing you out of friendship groups or activities.

If you're a victim of bullying or know of someone who is a subject of bullying, you should talk to someone you trust. However, if you don't feel like talking, there are lots of helplines you can contact:

Stopbullying.uk website

Bullybusters website

Childline - bullying types

Kidscape - help with bullying website

 

Watch these short videos on bullying:

Cyber bullying

The prominent places for online bullying include:

  • Social networking sites
  • Messaging apps
  • Gaming sites
  • Chat rooms

Cyberbullying is any form of bullying which takes place online. 

Watch this short video - 'Online bullying doesn't have to be like this.':

For more help and advice on cyberbullying and what to do about it, check these websites:

Bullying UK website

Internet matters - cyberbullying facts and advice

Childline - bullying types

Sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation occurs when an individual or a group deceives, manipulates or coerces and controls a child for a sexual purpose. 

It can happen to boys and girls; it can happen face-to-face and online. 

Vulnerable children at risk from sexual exploitation

  • Runaway or homeless children and children in care
  • Children who've already suffered abuse or neglect
  • Children who've experienced recent bereavement or loss
  • Children excluded from or regularly absent from school
  • Refugee children and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children
  • Trafficked children
  • Children with low self-esteem
  • Young carers
  • Children with mental health conditions
  • Children who use drugs and alcohol
  • Children who lack friends from their age group
  • Children with learning difficulties and disabilities
  • Children involved with gangs
  • Children from families who have a history of offending behaviour
  • Children living in poverty

Childline has a series of short animated films dealing with child sexual exploitation:

Loosing control - Jay

Loosing control - When someone cares

Loosing control - My story is real

You can also get advice and further information on child sexual exploitation from these following websites:

NSPCC - Child sexual exploitation

Safe & Sound - What is exploitation

In what ways could you be exploited? 

 

1. Inappropriate relationships 

These relationships usually involve one physically stronger, older and often wealthier perpetrator controlling a young person. Sometimes this can involve familial abuse too - when an older family member exploits their child or sibling. The relative can be forced or threatened into involving the young person in exploitation by someone else. 

2. Older adult exploitation

Often referred to as the 'boyfriend' model. The adult perpetrator is usually at least five years older and befriends and grooms the young person by focusing on their vulnerabilities. The victim will initially feel they're in a positive and rewarding relationship with the perpetrator. Power and control can lead to a young person becoming isolated and dependent on the 'boyfriend'. These young people can often be coerced or forced into sex with the perpetrator's friends. 

3. Trafficking 

Young people are passed by perpetrators through networks, between towns and cities, where they may be forced or coerced into sexual activity with multiple people. Young people are often used to recruit other young people to participate in so-called 'sex parties'.

4. Peers 

Trafficking sometimes involves the 'buying and selling' of young people by individuals involved in serious organised crime. Often referred to as sexual bullying, this form of child sexual exploitation can happen quickly without building a relationship or the grooming process. Incidents may be filmed on mobile phones and circulated. Incidents may occur publicly or involve multiple perpetrators. 

5. Gang and group exploitation 

Young people in gangs or groups may be sexually exploited as part of gang initiation or as punishment. Young people may also be encouraged to recruit peers into the gang, exposing them to similar child sexual exploitation. When this happens, it can be difficult to identify perpetrators who control the gang. 

6. Online sexual exploitation 

Online Sexual exploitation can include an older person: 

  • pretending to be a child, making friends with you through online chat rooms, social networking websites, emails, mobile telephone messaging, gaining their trust, stalking their online activities 
  • asking you to engage in sexual chats online or by mobile telephone 
  • inviting you to take and share indecent photos of themselves 
  • asking you to perform sexual acts recorded or shared live via webcam 
  • arranging to meet you in person to harm you.

(The Children's Society)

Help and Support

Report abuse

You can talk to Warrington's Children's safeguarding/social work team in Warrington on 01925 443322. If you're calling between 5.00 pm – 9.00 am ring us on 01925 444400.  

Alternatively, you can call the police on 101; howeverif you or another young person is in immediate danger telephone 999.

Reporting online abuse

Child Exploitation and Online Protection website

Criminal exploitation, gangs and knife crime

When children and young people are manipulated and forced into committing crimes, it's known as criminal exploitation. And as such, characterised as child abuse. 

Gangs

Childline provides excellent advice on gangs and has information on the following questions:

  • Is it Illegal to be in a gang?
  • What does it mean to be in a gang?
  • How can I leave a gang? 

Knife crime

Childline also provides advice and information about knife crime and common questions, such as:  

  • What does the Law say about knife crime?
  • Why do young people carry knives?
  • What would happen if I got caught carrying a knife?

Help and support

To report things you're worried about you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Female genital mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is when some or all of a girl's private parts are removed or altered.

FGM can happen at different times in a girl or woman's life, including:

  • when a baby is new-born
  • during childhood or as a teenager
  • just before marriage
  • during pregnancy

 FGM is abuse, and it's illegal in the UK.

Watch this short video that raises FGM awareness amongst primary school-aged children:

My Body, My Rules: FGM animation

The effects of FGM

This short video follows a 12-year-old's struggle between family honour and FGM facts:

Think again: The film

Help and support

If you're worried about or have experienced FGM, there are several helplines, including Childline. Their 0800 1111 is free and confidential. 

The NSPCC also have a free helpline. You can contact them by calling 0800 028 3550 or emailing fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.

Web app

Petals have developed an App for you to download, should you wish to know more about FGM.

Useful websites

FORWARD Youth - helpful advice on FGM

National FGM Centre

Forced marriage and honour based violence

What's the difference between a forced marriage and an arranged one?

Forced marriage is different from an arranged marriage. If you agree to marry another person and you're 16 years of age or more, then an arranged marriage is acceptable. However, if one of the people getting married doesn't want to do, this isn't an arranged marriage but a forced one.

Help and support

If you don't feel like you can talk to someone you know, there are helplines, websites and other professionals that can help. 

The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) provides information on what constitutes a forced marriage and provides advice and support.

Gender identity

What's gender identity?

Watch this short video for information on gender identity:

Useful websites

Young Scot

Mermaids

  • Email: info@mermaidsuk.org.uk
  • Telephone: 0844 334 0550 (9:00 am – 8:00 pm)
  • Mobile only: 0344 334 0550 (9:00 am – 8:00 pm)

Pink Therapy

Gendered Intelligence

Gallop

  • Telephone 0800 999 5428 - Tuesdays 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Stonewall

  • Helpline: 020 7593 1850 - Monday to Friday 9.30 am - 5.30 pm
Mental health

If you're in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, you should call the mental health crisis line 01925 275 309

For local information, check out our Happy OK Sad website:

Happy OK Sad

For free, safe and anonymous online support for young people, you can access the Kooth service, from XenZone through your mobile, tablet and desktop. Kooth also runs a counselling service in Warrington so you can talk to counsellors face to face.

Useful websites

Papyrus

Offers support and guidance if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal.

Young Minds

Supports and empower young people, whatever the challenges.

Childline

Give us a Shout

Helping with issues, such as depression, abuse, self-harm and more.

Drugs and alcohol

The council's drugs and alcohol support service can help and support you, providing a full range of treatment options and guidance for recovery from drug and alcohol misuse. 

Self-harm

If you're self-harming, it's best to talk to someone. It could be a parent or relative you trust, perhaps a teacher or youth worker.

If you don't think you can confide in anyone close to you, talk to your GP.

What happens if I go and see my GP? Watch this short video for more information:

Self-harm: What happens when you see a doctor?

Why do children and young people self-harm?

Watch these short videos that explain some of the reasons behind self-harm:

Self-harm - an animated film by young people

5 myths about self-harm

#NoHarmDone - things can change

Young carers

Young carers often take on a level of responsibility that's isn't appropriate for their age or development.

They may have to help look after a family member who's sick, disabled, have mental health problems, or misuses drugs or alcohol. Their day to day responsibilities often include:

  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • shopping
  • providing nursing and personal care
  • giving emotional support.

With so many adult responsibilities, young carers often miss the everyday opportunities other children have to play and learn. They can become isolated, and are often afraid to ask for help as they fear letting the family down or themselves, taken into care.

Have a look at these informative videos on what it's like to be a young carer:

My Names Lottie

Worries of a Young Carer:

Help and support

WIRED Young Carers Service provides help, support and information on being a Young Carer in Warrington. Wired Young Carers Service supports young carers aged 18 or under, who look after someone with a disability, illness, mental health condition or addiction. 

I'm thinking of running away

If you're thinking of running away, you should know there's a lot of support available to you.  

If you're being bullied, abused, or unhappy at home, always try and speak to someone you trust first. People and organisations are waiting to help you. Running away will put you at more risk; you must always try to avoid it.

Helplines and support

Here are some helplines for anonymous advice:

  • You can reach the Runaway helpline on 0808 800 7070
  • Childline is on 0800 1111
  • Runaway Helpline is on 116 000
  • If you need some independent advice, you can contact Voice, an organisation on 0808 800 5792

If you're a child in care, you should always talk to your social worker or manager.

Private fostering

A private fostering arrangement means typically living with someone, other than a close family relation for over 28 days.

Private fostering is an agreement made between your parent and the person who is, or will be looking after you. You may have also had involvement in making this decision.

There are all sorts of reasons why you might not be living at home, such as:

  • A sick parent, who is unable to look after you or in hospital
  • You may have argued and gone to stay with someone other than a member of your family

In the event of such an arrangement, you, your parent, and the person you're living with should contact Warrington Children's Social Care.  

What happens next?

Someone will visit you at the place where you're living. They'll make sure that you're happy and well cared for, and that it's OK for you to stay there until you can go back home.

Am I being radicalised?

Changing your views is normal. It's OK to make new friends or spend time with different people.

But if these things are making you change your behaviour and how you treat others, it could mean you've become radicalised.

This interactive film made by Upstanding Communities, documents the choices Liam makes and the consequences when a far-right group in the UK radicalises him:

The choice is yours...

Help and support

Here's several websites that provide more information on radicalisation.

Childline - worries about the world

NSPCC - protecting children from radicalisation

Educateagainsthate - What are the warning signs?

Openyoureyes.net - exposing the reality of Isis

GOV.UK/report-terrorism - Report online material that promotes terrorism or extremism

We have further information on our website about the safety and wellbeing of children: