Quickly exit this site by pressing the Escape key Leave this site
This site is a beta, which means it's a work in progress and we'll be adding more to it over the next few weeks. Your feedback helps us make things better, so please let us know what you think.
Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the internet, whether through social networks, online gaming or mobile phones.
It can take many forms, from young people being persuaded to share sexually explicit images of themselves, to being threatened, intimidated and harassed via the internet. The abuse can be emotional or sexual and in some cases involves children being groomed or exploited by an adult.
Any child or young person that uses the internet or has a smartphone could be a victim of online abuse regardless of their age, gender or background.
Many children and young people are affected by online abuse but often don’t tell anyone. They may trust their abuser, don’t understand that they’re being abused or are too scared to tell anyone what’s happening.
Online abuse may be part of, or lead to, abuse in the real world.
The signs that a child may be being abused online aren’t always obvious but there are some you can look out for, for example:
If you believe a child you know could be a victim of online abuse tell someone.
Contact the police on 101, or 999 if you believe they are at immediate risk from harm.
Alternatively you can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 for help and support.
Keeping children safe online
The internet plays a big part in most of our lives, offering great new opportunities both educationally and socially but it’s important we all understand the risks associated with being online and take simple steps to help keep children safe:
Providing specialist support to young people affected by crime – visit the Victims First website or call on 0300 234 148.
Stop It Now
If you are concerned about the sexual behaviour of an adult or a child, contact the Stop It Now helpline on 0808 1000 900