If you’re worried about a child you should contact social services or the police. 

We cannot investigate specific cases of child abuse, and will forward any messages we get about abuse to the police or social services.

We run eight projects across England and Wales that support and treat children, young people and their families who've been affected by sexual abuse.

It’s estimated that child sexual abuse could affect as many as 36% of girls and 29% of boys. An NSPCC study found that nearly three-quarters of sexually abused children didn’t tell anyone about the abuse at the time, and around a third still hadn’t told anyone by early adulthood.

The impact of abuse can manifest itself in a variety of behavioural and psychological problems, including poor psychological functioning, depression and low self-esteem, sexualised behaviour, eating disorders, suicide and substance misuse.

Long-term support

Children who’ve been sexually abused need long-term support. That's why we offer individual support for as long as it takes, using proven techniques such as therapeutic play, creative arts and psychotherapy. We help them make sense of life experiences, highlight their strengths and potential, and teach them to cope with difficulties.

Family support

It’s important to support the brothers, sisters and carers of those affected by abuse too. So we provide a wide range of individual, group and family treatments and therapy, with a 360-degree approach. A special support service, which includes counselling, helps carers and parents understand the effects of abuse and the therapeutic process.

Tackling the wider issue

We offer support and consultative services to other professionals working with children and young people who have suffered sexual abuse. By monitoring, evaluating and contributing to research, we can help tackle child sexual abuse head on.

"All the time I have come to Action for Children, I have felt safe and helped. Even when I have been at my worst and couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, I knew you would always be there for me! I am going to keep climbing that mountain!"

A 12-year-old survivor of sexual abuse

Our Safe and Secure network

We set up the Safe and Secure network to make it easier for children, young people and their families who have been affected by sexual abuse to access our services.

The network focuses on:

  • Promoting strong networks and partnerships with other agencies and organisations;
  • Developing specialist training;
  • Sharing best practice;
  • Looking at services for disabled and black minority ethnic (BME) children;
  • Developing the evidence base (including commissioning small-scale studies of the impact of innovations within the projects).

Did you find this page helpful?

We're here to help families. Every step of the way.

Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.