Rape and sexual assault

Are you worried your child has been raped or sexually assaulted?

If you are certain that this has happened, take action immediately by contacting the police and seek immediate medical advice. For more advice on how to do this see the "What can you do?" section below.

Maybe you suspect that someone you know, are related to, or are in a relationship with has been sexually assaulting your child. Maybe you are scared of what will happen if you do something about it. Perhaps you have known for a while, but have been unsure what to do.

Whatever the situation, regardless of who may be assaulting your child, regardless of how you feel about them, there is only one priority: your child's safety.

There's no excuse

The reasons why a person commits rape or sexual assault are different for each person. Whatever the explanation, there is absolutely no excuse for it. Nothing makes it right.

  • It is an abuse of power.
  • It can stay with the victim for years to come.
  • It can be degrading and humiliating.

What can you do?

There is a lot of help and support available for you and your child.

  • You can contact your local police station or speak to your Safer Neighbourhoods Team - if it's an emergency you should call 999.
  • You can also contact Social Services for help. You can find their number on your local authority's website.
  • Alternatively, if you or your child feels unable to report the incident to the police, you can contact The Havens for advice. Havens are specialist centres in London for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. However, for children under the age of 13, Havens can only assist with the immediate medical needs after an assault and not with their longer term care. Visit their site here.
  • You could also encourage your child to speak to a trained counsellor.

Beyond comforting your child, it is vital that the abuse stops. You must seek help and take steps to ensure your child's safety. As well as contacting the police or Social Services, you could:

  • Talk to a friend or another family member, ask for help. Call a helpline for professional advice - try Parentline Plus on 0808 800 2222 or for your child, ChildLine on 0800 1111.

Getting more help

For more information about rape and sexual assault visit our ‘Get the facts’ or ‘More help and advice’ pages.

For other related topics, take a look at our section on domestic violence and abuse.

You too might need support. Consider looking at the Parentline Plus site.

If you need information about online grooming, visit the CEOP website.

Rape and sexual assault