If you’ve experienced or witnessed abuse, you have every right to report it. There are different people you can report to, depending on where and when the abuse has taken place.
If you don’t feel ready, don’t want to make a report, or feel you want to speak to someone and get advice about what you have experienced, you can still get support from a range of specialist organisations.
Involving the police
You can report abusive behaviour to the police by calling 101 or making an online report.
You can also find details of your local police force if you want to report it to them in person.
If you think you or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 999.
What happens when you make a police report
After you make a police report, it is likely that the police will arrange for someone to talk to you in a safe and private way. Their first priority will be to check you’re OK and find out if you need any emergency medical assistance. If you’re comfortable talking about what happened, the officer will normally have four main questions for you. They’ll understand that you may not be able to answer all of these.
- Who did this?
- What happened?
- Where did it happen?
- When did it happen?
Other ways to report abuse
If you want to report a criminal offence anonymously, contact Crimestoppers. They’ll pass your information on to the relevant authority responsible for investigating crimes and bringing people to justice.
In a public place
If you’re on public transport, you can tell the driver or guard. You can also report abusive behaviour on a train to the British Transport Police by text. British Transport Police textline: 61016
If you’re somewhere like a bar or club, you can report it to someone on duty, whether bar staff, security or a manager.
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, you may also be able to seek help at your local pharmacy by asking a member of staff for ‘Ani’. You can tell if they’re participating in the codeword scheme if they have the ‘Ask for Ani’ poster in the window. They will offer you a private space, provide a phone and ask if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services. Visit Domestic abuse: how to get help - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
In the workplace or in an education setting
If somebody has subjected you to abuse at work, whether in person or online, you can report it to someone such as your line manager, a colleague or the HR department. If at school or in an education setting speak to your teacher or a member of staff.
If you're exposed to inappropriate content online, contact the service provider or use the report button on social media feeds.