What is child safety
and child sexual abuse?

As a child, you have a right to safety and a sense of wellbeing. This is true no matter whatyour age, gender, culture, religion, sexual identity, education level, or where you live.

You have the right to be heard and the right to privacy. Your body belongs to you and youcan say “no”, including when you feel scared, uncomfortable or unsafe. Children always havea right to feel safe, and if you don’t, you can tell an adult you trust. Trusted adults will listento what you have to say because your thoughts and feelings matter.

You also have a right to be safe online, and to be able to learn, have fun and connect withpeople without feeling unsafe or uncomfortable. If anything happens online that you don’tlike, you can tell a trusted adult. You should still tell them even if you’re embarrassed aboutwhat happened, or about what you said to someone or sent to someone. Find out where to go for help to have an image removed from the internet.

The law protects you from certain things and from certain people that can make a situationunsafe, or harm your wellbeing. This includes sexual

Your body is your space. The parts of your body covered by swimwear or underwear are yourprivate parts. No one should touch, or ask to look at, the private parts of your body, or makeyou look at theirs. You should also listen when other people tell you they do not want to betouched or looked at, and you should respect their privacy too.

Sometimes, an adult (like a parent, carer, doctor or nurse) might need to touch you for healthor hygiene reasons. But they should ask you first and explain what they’re doing.

A private part includes breasts, a bottom, an anus, and genitals such as the penis andvagina. In your family you might call these body parts different names and they can be a bitembarrassing to talk about, but knowing the right words can help you explain if something ishappening that you don’t like.

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Child sexual abuse is when an adult or child involves a child in any kind of sexual activity.

This is what child sexual abuse can look like:

• A child being shown someone else’s private parts or someone encouraging or forcing achild to show their private parts.
• Asking a child to look at sexual videos or images.
• Making sexual comments to a child or about other children, like commenting on a child’sprivate parts.
• Someone looking at a child in a way that makes the child uncomfortable while they aregoing to the toilet, are in the bath or shower, or are undressing.
• Doing anything sexual with or to a child’s body, including:
• putting fingers, objects or their private parts in a child’s private parts or mouth, or
• encouraging or forcing a child to put their fingers, private parts or other objects insomeone else’s private parts or mouth.
• Touching a child, either over or under clothing, in a way that makes the childuncomfortable.
• Encouraging or forcing a child to touch themselves or someone else in a sexual way.
• Encouraging or forcing a child to make or send videos or photos of themselves or otherchildren in their underwear, partially dressed, or naked.

It is never OK for an adult to engage in sexual activity with a child. It is against the law. Youhave the right to say no to things you don’t like or think are wrong, even if someone tells youthat you can’t. A good rule to follow is that if it does not feel right, you should tell someoneyou trust. Sexual abuse is not part of a normal relationship, it is not a sign of love, and it isnever a child’s fault. It is never OK and it must be reported to someone.

Child sexual abuse can happen anywhere: online, in families, and during activities like sportsand music lessons.

Children can be abused in places they visit regularly, including at church, school orcommunity groups. Sometimes, someone who is a stranger will abuse a child.

But most of the time, sexual abuse will be done by someone a child knows and may trust.They could be a family member, neighbour or family friend. Sometimes, the abuse will bedone by another child.

Children can also be sexually abused online either by people they know, or people they donot know.

Online sexual abuse can include someone sending inappropriate images of themselves toa child, or asking a child to share photos or videos of themselves, including when they’renaked.

Sometimes, a child might do what the person asks at first, and send them a photo or video.

But that person may use what the child has sent to them to bribe or embarrass them intosending more.

If anything like this has ever happened to you or a friend, you should tell a trusted adult.

You won’t be in trouble and you are not alone.

Find out where to go for help to have an image removed from the internet.

Online sexual abuse can also involve someone talking in sexual ways through online chats,or encouraging a child to meet up with them in real life

Someone who plans to sexually abuse a child may start by “grooming” that child, as well asadults around them. This means they will do things that might make it easier to spend timewith or talk to the child, or things that will make the child trust them and do what they say.

For example, they might try to spend more time with the child, especially in private, or givethem gifts or money.

They might tell the child that their “relationship is a secret”.

Grooming may also involve establishing trust with parents, carers and other adults whomight otherwise question or discourage the attention being shown to the child.

It can be hard to know why someone is doing these things, or even to notice that theirbehaviour has changed. And, not everyone who does these things will be trying to groom thechild.

But, whenever something doesn’t feel right, it is important that you tell a trusted adult oranother safe person in your life.

If you have been sexually abused, feel scared or unsafe, or something has happened andyou want help from the police, you can call 131 444 or visit your local police station anytime.

You can also read through our list of organisations that are set up to help you. These servicesare confidential and are just a phone call or a web page away. Support for Children and Youngpeople.