What is it?
Sexual abuse can include being:
• touched in a way you don't like
• forced to have sex
• forced to look at sexual pictures or videos
• made to watch someone do something sexual online or in person
• made to do something sexual to someone that feels uncomfortable or wrong online or in person
What if it happens to me?
You should always remember that it isn't your fault and that help and support is available. We take all allegations of sexual abuse very seriously. To report it dial 999 in an emergency or 101 to speak to a trained officer.
If you think you've been raped
Report it to us as soon as possible. We understand that you may be extremely traumatised and find it difficult to talk about what has happened. Because of this we have special interview suites where you can come and speak to police officers in safety. You will also be able to have a shower there.
If you report the assault soon after it has taken place, you will be asked whether you are happy to have a medical examination. This is so that any forensic evidence can be gathered.
Our officers will explain the process all the way through and help you to make a statement about what has happened. If you are under 17, it may also be possible to make a video of your statement.
There will also be people there who can help you with any medical concerns you might have.
How you can help the investigation
Try and leave the scene of the assault exactly as it was. This will help us to collect forensic evidence. Your clothes will also contain a lot of potential evidence, such as DNA, so it is advisable not to wash them either.
Try to give a detailed description, it may be possible to create an image of the offender and publish an appeal or you may be asked to try and pick out the person in an identity parade.
You'll be asked if you want to make an impact statement. This allows you to talk about what effect the assault has had on you and your family.
If you are a young person
If you are being abused you must remember that it isn't your fault no matter who the person is. It is possible to be sexually abused by someone you know and love. This does not make what they are doing okay.
Talk to an adult you can trust. This might be your teacher or a relative.
You can also speak to someone from ChildLine on the number below. Anything you say to them will be confidential.
What happens next?
If you tell someone you trust about what's happening they should get in touch with people who can help you and find a way to protect you from what's happening.
The Children's Act 2004 (England and Wales) is a law that protects children and brings child abusers to justice. If we get involved a police officer might interview you. This is to gather evidence to help with their investigation.
How to get help
Always dial 999 in an emergency
If you are not in any immediate danger, call the police non-emergency number on 101.
Organisations that can help
• Victim Support 0845 30 30 900 www.victimsupport.org.uk
• Website for young people http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
• ChildLine 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk
• NSPCC 0808 800 5000 www.nspcc.org.uk
• CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection) www.ceop.gov.uk