What to do if I am being abused, or a child or young person I know is being abused?

Abuse doesn't just mean physical violence, it can also be emotional, sexual, psychological or financial abuse as well.

In fact in some circumstances, people who experience the type of behaviour that stops short of serious physical violence, but amounts to extreme psychological and emotional abuse can seek help, as it is a criminal offence.

What to do if I am being abused, or a child or young person I know is being abused?

Tell someone

  • contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 020 7525 1921 (or 020 7525 5000 out-of-hours)
  • email the MASH
  • call the local police
  • in an emergency, after 5pm and at weekends or on bank holidays, you can contact the out of hours social worker on 020 7525 5000

Not sure if it is abuse?

Read our page about keeping children and young people safe or contact the Children's Services duty child protection coordinator (LADO) on 020 7525 3297 for advice.

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) works within Children’s Services and provides advice and guidance to employers, organisations and other individuals who have concerns about the behaviours of an adult who works with children and young people.

More useful contacts

NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
24-hour freephone service for adults, children or young people for advice or to give details about a child who may be at risk.
Tel: 0808 800 5000

24-hour freephone for children and young people who need advice
Tel: 0800 1111

Family Lives
A freephone advice line for parents.
Tel: 0808 800 2222

For more information about safeguarding children and young people, please visit Southwark's Safeguarding website