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COVID-19: Harm and abuse of children and young people

People experiencing abuse are allowed to leave their home to escape their abuser or to ask for help during this stay-at-home period.

If someone needs immediate help, they can dial 999 and the police will respond. If they need silent help, they can dial 999 and then dial 55 when prompted by the operator.

If it is not an emergency, someone can report an incident to the police by calling 101.

Support for a child or young person experiencing harm or abuse

Support is always available to people experiencing harm or abuse, including during this health crisis.

There are organisations who can offer confidential support for children and young people experiencing harm and abuse, and can help them to make a formal report if they feel able to.

The Mix

The Mix provides support and information to people under the age of 25.

Call free on 0808 808 4994 any day from 4-11pm.
This will not show on your phone bill.

Chat online 1-2-1 with a member of The Mix team any day from 4-11pm.
Visit the The Mix website to access this service>>

Contact the crisis messenger 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by texting THEMIX to 85258.


Childline

Childline continues to be there for children and young people, online, on the phone, anytime.

Call free on 0800 1111 any day from 9am- midnight.
This will not show on your phone bill.

Chat online 1-2-1 with a counsellor any day from 9am- midnight.
Visit the Childline website to access this service>>

Send an email to a Childline counsellor anytime. Visit the
Visit the Childline website to access this service>>


Meic

Meic offers free, confidential, anonymous information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people.

Call free on 080880 23456 any day from 8am- midnight.
This will not show on your phone bill.

Chat online 1-2-1 with a member of the team 8am- midnight.
Visit the Meic website to access this service>>

Text 84001 anytime.
This is free and won't show up on your phone bill.


Support for people concerned about a child or young person

If you or someone is concerned about a child or young person, there is support available.

NSPCC Helpline

The NSPCC helpline continues to be there for adults who have a concern about a child or young person. Trained professionals will talk through your concerns, give expert advice and take appropriate action to protect the child.

Call 0808 800 5000
This is available 24/7

Email help@nspcc.org.uk


Stop It Now! Helpline

The confidential Stop It Now! helpline by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation is available for anyone with concerns about child sexual abuse, including individuals experiencing harmful sexual thoughts.

Call 0808 1000 900

Available from 9.00am – 9.00pm Mondays to Thursdays and 9.00am – 5.00pm Fridays, and closed on weekends and bank holidays

The Stop It Now! secure messaging service is available at all times and you will usually receive a response from between 5 and 7 working days.Visit the Stop It Now! website to access this service>>


Young Minds - Parents Helpline

The Young Minds Parents Helpine is available to offer confidential advice to parents and carers worried about a child or young person under 25.

Call 0808 802 5544
This is available 9:30am-4:00pm

You can email the Helpline using a contact form on the Young Minds Website. The trained advisors endeavour to respond within 3 workings days.
Visit the Young Minds website to access this service


Guidance and resources for practitioners and service providers

We will keep this section updated as further guidance is made available. All links will take you to external trusted websites.

Resources:

The Children's Society has a dedicated resource hub on its website, with information and details of support available to children and young people during COVID-19, available here


The NSPCC and O2 are working in partnership to offer free 30 minute introductory webinars on keeping families safe online. The webinars highlight the risks children can face online whilst offering practical advice and signposting for help and support. To arrange a webinar, please email parentworkshops@nspcc.org.uk

UNICEF is working with health experts around the clock to provide tips and guidance for families on everything from how to talk to children about COVID-19, to how to wash your hands properly, to advice for teenagers on how to protect their mental health, available here

​The Lucy Faithfull Foundation safeguard children and young people from sexual abuse by preventing it and responding to it. Their website contains resources and information for adults and professionals, available here


Guidance:

The NSPCC website has lots of tips and advice for parents and carers, such as working from home or talking to children worried about coronavirus, available here

The NSPCC website has advice about keeping children safe online, available here

Europol has issued guidance on protecting children and young people from child sexual exploitation during the pandemic, available here

​The Early Intervention Foundation has released a report Covid-19 and early intervention, exploring the evidence, challenges and risks relating to virtual and digital delivery, available here