Sexual violence can be perpetrated by a complete stranger or by someone known and even trusted, such as a friend, colleague, family member, partner or ex-partner.

Sexual abuse is any other sort of sexual contact and behaviour that is unwanted. Some examples of this can include:

  • Unwanted touching, rape, pressure to have sex or sexual acts, forced to have sexual pictures taken and online sexual abuse.

Sadly children and young people may be victims of sexual violence.  Grooming is where children and young people are befriended to gain their trust and offered gifts and drugs/alcohol prior to sexual abuse taking place.

As a parent/carer/friend there are many signs you can look out for if you are worried about someone that is being abused or sexually exploited. Here are some of them:

  • Has the young person received unexplained gifts or money?
  • Are they secretive with their mobile phone and online social media accounts?
  • Do they have significantly older friends?
  • Have they been picked up from home or school by someone you don’t know?
  • Are they associating with other young people who are known to be vulnerable or involved in exploitation?
  • Have they started missing school or going missing from home?
  • Are they self-harming?
  • Has their appearance changed?

If this has happened to you, or you know someone that may be affected by this don’t hesitate to contact Leicester Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 80 200 28.