The government has launched a new campaign to say enough is enough when it comes to abuse. Let’s all be part of the change to help keep women and girls safe.
No-one should live in fear of abuse. Knowing what abuse is helps us all recognise it when it happens. It can be emotional, physical, sexual or financial. It can be carried out by a partner, ex-partner, family member, colleague, friend, or stranger. It can be words or actions.
It can happen at home, or in a public place. This can include someone making sexually explicit comments or gestures in public, leering or unwanted staring, unwanted sexual attention or asking for sex, ‘upskirting’, which is when someone takes pictures or filming up a someone’s skirt without them knowing, or groping, which is unwanted sexual touching anywhere on the body, which could be sexual assault.
It could occur at work or in an education setting such as school. An example of this could be: repeated pressure to go out on a date or asking for sexual activity in exchange for promotion.
It can also be in person or online. This could involve someone making unwanted sexually explicit comments on social media, sending unwanted sexual messages or pictures to someone, putting pressure on someone to send nude pictures of themselves, or cyberstalking, which is when someone uses the internet and other technologies to harass or stalk another person online.
Whatever abuse has happened to you, there are people out there who can support you by listening, helping you through your experience and supporting you in your search for justice.
There are lots of reasons people don’t seek support when they experience abuse. Fear. Shame. Confusion. Worried they won’t be believed or taken seriously. Feeling they will be judged. Being uncertain of what support is available and how this could help them. Wanting to forget it ever happened. The trouble is, trying to cope with things alone can be really hard. So have a think about who you could tell. Whether it’s a friend, a family member or a professional, they can help you through it. Telling someone about your experience can help you to deal with the abuse and get extra support if you need it. That may be emotional support, practical support, health advice and/or legal support. There’s no pressure on you to do this, and no right or wrong person to tell. You might start with friends or family or someone in your community that you trust.
When you’re ready, and only if you want to, you might choose to talk to a specialist support organisation. If you are deaf, you can access support via the Sign Health helpline, you can SMS – 07800 003421 or email – [email protected]. You can also schedule in a video call too.
If you would like to report the abuse to the police you can call 101 or make an online report.
You can also find details of your local police force if you want to report it to them in person.
Remember, if you think you or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 999
Abuse of any kind is never ok, and you do not need to feel ashamed, and you don’t have to deal with this alone, If you have experienced or are experiencing any of the above behaviours, please reach out to the confidential and expert support services provided, which you can access safely and without judgement.
How to get help - Easy Read version
Easy Read makes it easier for people with learning difficulties to understand information. If you've experienced abuse and are looking for support, you can download the Easy Read document.