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FAQs - Abuse, Violence and Protection

Child in thought
In this section of the website you will find frequently asked questions about particular issues or situations that affect children and young people and their parents. It is hoped that the answers to these questions will offer people useful information and advice, including links to other websites where appropriate.
I think my friend is selling herself for sex. How can I tell if this is right?
In a lot of cases children and young people may be being exploited. This is where there is an abuse of power and an older person is persuading them to perform sexual acts in order to gain the affection or approval of the older person (a form of grooming). There are signs to look out for and you will find more information through some of the services listed.


What is bullying?
Bullying can mean many different things. These are some ways children and young people have described bullying:
  • being called names
  • being teased
  • being pushed or pulled about
  • being hit or attacked
  • having your bag and other possessions taken and thrown around
  • having rumours spread about you
  • being ignored and left out
  • being forced to hand over money or possessions
  • being attacked or teased or called names because of your religion or colour
  • being attacked or teased or called names because of your sexuality

For further help and advice please visit the following website links:-

www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection
www.direct.gov.uk
www.bbc.co.uk/parenting



Why do bullies do it?
They have their own problems - they may feel upset or angry or feel that they don't fit in - perhaps they have problems at home?

Maybe they get bullied themselves, perhaps by someone in their own family or other adults?

They're scared of getting picked on so they do it first

They want to show off and seem tough

Many don't like themselves and so take it out on someone else

For further help and advice please visit the following website links:-

www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection
www.direct.gov.uk
www.bbc.co.uk/parenting


What is child abuse?
Although growing up can be difficult, most children and young people receive the love and care they need to develop into healthy, happy young adults.

But some children are hurt, neglected and used by adults or other children. Younger children may not be aware that what is happening to them is abuse.

Abuse can mean different things to different children, and can happen once or many times.
  • Physical Abuse is when children are hurt or injured by other people. Hitting, kicking, beating with objects, throwing and shaking are all physical abuse, and can cause pain
  • Sexual abuse is when children are forced or persuaded into sexual acts or situations by others. Children might be encouraged to look at pornography, be harassed by sexual suggestions or comments, be touched sexually or forced to have sex., cuts, bruising, broken bones and sometimes even death.
  • Emotional abuse is when children are not given love, approval or acceptance. They may be constantly criticised, blamed, sworn and shouted at, told that other people are better than they are and rejected by those they look to for affection.
  • Neglect is when parents or others looking after children do not provide them with proper food, warmth, shelter, clothing, care and protection.
Childline - Child Abuse Website


What do I do if I think a child may be at risk of neglect or abuse?
Protecting children is everyones responsibility. Members of the public can play a vital role in helping to protect children from abuse or neglect.

Whilst the child's welfare is always the most important consideration, there is also a duty on professionals to work in partnership with parents, to provide support where necessary and to ensure that children remain with their families wherever possible.

If any member of the public thinks a child may be at risk of abuse or neglect, they should contact the local childrens services social care (formerly known as Social Services) or the NSPCC National Helpline.

In the South Tees area, the contact details are:

For children who live in Redcar & Cleveland
The Access Team
Redcar & Cleveland Childrens Services Social Care
Seafield House
Kirkleatham Street
Redcar
Redcar & Cleveland
TS101SP
Tel: (01642) 771500

Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team - Tel: (08702) 402994

For children who live in Middlesbrough
Customer Services
Middlesbrough Children, Learning and Families
Middlesbrough House
50 Corporation Road
Middlesbrough
TS1 2YQ
Tel: (01642) 726004

Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team - Tel: (08702) 402994

NSPCC National Helpline
Tel: (0808) 8005000

If a member of the public considers that there is an emergency situation, they should dial 999 for the Police.


What is Domestic Violence or Abuse?
Any type of abuse between adults will have a negative on a child. Seek support and advice as soon as possible. The longer it lasts the more damaging the effects are.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse you can seek support from one or more of the agencies set out in the Contact list. If you are worried about the affect the violence is having on your child you can get support for them too. Children need time to discuss the feelings they have about the violence. They need to know that it is not their fault, and this is not the way relationships should be.
A violent partner can seek support in stopping their abusive and violent behaviour.
For more information please see the Safe Parenting Handbook by visiting www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection.

For further information and advice please see the following useful contacts:
Middlesbrough Children, Families and Learning 01642 726004
Redcar and Cleveland Children's Services 01642 771500
Cleveland Police Domestic Violence Unit 01642 303170 or 01642 303168
National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
Middlesbrough Refuge 01642 225969
My Sisters Place (Women's Advice Centre) 01642 241864
Panah Black Women's Refuge and Outreach Service 0191 284 6998
Redcar and Cleveland Women's Aid 01642 490917
Middlesbrough Domestic Violence Forum 01642 223360
Homeless Emergency Advice 01642 726050
South Tees Out-of-Hours Emergency Duty Team 08702 402994
NSPCC National Helpline 0808 800 5000
NSPCC Asian Helpline 0800 096 7719
Police/Ambulance 999 (EMERGENCY ONLY)


Who does Domestic Violence happen to?
Domestic violence can happen to anyone - no matter what race, ethnicity or religion you are, or how much money you have. Domestic violence can happen to adults or it can happen to teenagers in a dating relationship. It can happen to disabled adults or young people. Children and young people can get scared because they may see one parent hit or frighten the other. Some children also get abused by other members of their family. Whatever the case, domestic violence is not okay and it is not your fault.


How can I help my friend who is worried about the fighting and arguing at home?
Make sure that when you talk to your friend about the abuse, youre in a safe place and you have time to talk. Its possible that when your friend talks to you they might feel angry or upset. Its scary for them to talk about the abuse, so these feelings are normal. It is important to show your friend support and understanding, and explain there are places that can offer help if this is what they want.
For more information you could refer to the Safe Parenting Handbook by visiting www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection


What is racism?
A. Racism is treated someone differently or unfiarly simply because they belong to a different race or culture. People can also experience prejudice because of their religion on nationality. Racism takes many different forms. These can include:
  • Personal attacks of any kind including violence
  • Written or verbal threats or assaults
  • Damage to property including graffiti



Why are people racist?
Unfortunately racism can exist in all races and cultures. Racists feel threatened by anyone who is from a different race or culture.

We are not born racist. Our views and beliefs develop as we grow up. If a child or young person grows up within a racist family, or has friends who are racist, they may believe that racism is normal and acceptable.

Prejudice of any kind is often based on ignorance and fear of anything unfamiliar.


I am being racial abused? What can I do?
Childline have these suggestions:
  1. Stop taking the abuse
    You don't have to accept this sort of hassle. Everyone has a right to live happily and free from discrimination, no matter what their nationality or race.
  2. Accept that you're not the one with the problem
    Your self-esteem may have taken a knock if you're having a hard time, but the thing you have to remember is that you are not the one to have caused the problem.
  3. Tell someone what's happening to you
    You don't have to suffer in silence. Think who's the best person to talk to about what's happening. Schools, police and employers have a responsibility to protect you. Other parts of your life will suffer if you keep silent. If the problem is at school, your work might deteriorate. Speak up now before the problem takes over.
  4. Go for a team effort
    Get other people involved in tackling the problem - perhaps you could start an anti-racism project or newsletter at your school or youth group and invite an anti-racist speaker along. Or set up a discussion group to talk about relevant issues and see what you can do to help in your area.
  5. Make people take you seriously
    If you are going to alert someone to the fact that you're being threatened, abused or bullied, then do it properly. You have to be prepared to get across how just it is affecting your well-being.
  6. Keep some evidence of what's happening (a diary of events, for example)
    This might be useful to show others that you need help.
  7. Plan what you would like to happen
    Now go for it.
  8. Make other parts of your life even better
    Don't let racists ruin every area of your life. For example, if you're unhappy at school or work, then make sure you make up for the bad times by enjoying yourself at home or with your friends.
  9. Keep safe and aware
    You can't spend you life looking over your shoulder, but it pays to be aware of dangers. Stick with groups of friends if you feel vulnerable.
  10. Never give up!
    You might not be able to tackle racism by yourself. Seek out support and accept help where you can.



Why do young people harm themselves?
People who self harm feel lonely and unloved. Giving your teenager time to talk to you, discussing difficulties they have and letting them know you are there for them will help. Your support will make them feel better about themselves.

For information please refer to the Safe Parenting Handbook www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection

For further information and advice please contact:

ChildLine 0800 1111www.childline.org.uk
The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 (24 hour helpline) www.samaritans.org
Action for Children www.actionforchildren.org.uk
National Self-Harm Network www.nshn.co.uk
The Site www.thesite.org.uk


What does it feel like to be bullied?
Bullying hurts. It makes you scared and upset. It can make you so worried that you can't work well at school. Some children have told us they have skipped school to get away from it. It can make you feel that you are no good, that there is something wrong with you. Bullies can make you feel that it's your fault.
For more help and advice the following websites may be useful:-

www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection
www.direct.gov.uk
www.bbc.co.uk/parenting

Alternatively you could call Kidscape 08451 205 204.


I’m being bullied what can I do?
If you are being bullied, you can do something about it. You can make a difference!
  • TELL, TELL, TELL
  • Practise what you want to say
  • Keep a note or diary of what is happening
  • Don't give up
  • Ask your parents to visit the school
  • Talk over what to do with a friend, a teacher, your mum or dad or someone you trust
Remember that teachers have to listen carefully when child tells them about being bullied.

Remember - it's right to tell an adult that you are being bullied and to ask for their help. But you don't have to let them take over. You can talk with them about what you would like to happen.

For useful help and advice please visit the following website links:-

www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection
www.direct.gov.uk
www.beatbullying.org

or alternatively you can call Kidscape on 08451 205 204


I have been the victim of crime. Where can I get help to get over it?
Ask the police to refer you to the Victim Support Scheme

The Victim Support (Redcar & Cleveland) website gives further information: www.victimsupport.org.uk/vs_england_wales/contacts/teesside/

They may be other services that can help you if you are a victim of crime. Please check our service directory information.


I think my child is bullying other children, what can I do?
Discuss with your child without being angry. Discuss how they think they will change their behaviour. Explain how this behaviour makes others feel.
Talk to your childs school.
For more help and information please visit the website links below:

www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection
www.direct.gov.uk
www.beatbullying.org

Alternatively you can call Kidscape on 08451 205 204.


Where can I get Home Fire Safety advice?
Visit the Cleveland Fire Brigade website for home fire safety advice www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/community-safety


How do I know that my child will be safe ?
Keeping Children Safe - When choosing services or activities.

What you must ask yourself:
1) Have the activity leaders/staff been CRB checked ?
2) Do I have their address and contact number & do they have mine ?
3) Does my organisation looking after your child have a Child Protection policy & procedures ?
4) Is my child happy to talk about activities & individuals ?
5) Will my child be supervised by a safe adult at all times ?
6) Are the staff suitably qualified ?
7) What kind of reputation has the service or activity got? (Ask around)

Hzve you got a concern?
You should always talk to the senior person in charge of the service if you have concerns.

If you are worried that a child is being abused:

DO NOT DELAY!

Contact:

Redcar and Cleveland Children's Social Care: 01642 771500.
Out of Hours Duty Team: 08702402994.
Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit: 01642 326326.
For further advice phone NSPCC 24-hour helpline: 0808 800 5000


My child has a learning disability and is being bullied, where can I get advice on how to deal with this?
This factsheet explains what bullying is and why it takes place. It looks at some ways you can try to prevent bullying from happening or to stop it when it is happening.

Bullying and children with a learning disability[1].pdf


I am worried that my child is being bullied, how can I tell?
Warning signs that your child may be getting bullied are running away, non-attendance at school, other learning and behavioural difficulties for no obvious reason. Your child has injuries with feasible explanation for them.
See someone at the school for their support and action. If bullying is happening outside school, consider contacting the family of the child who is bullying and try to find a way to work to sort it out.
For more information please see the Safe Parenting Handbook by visiting www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection.
Other useful contacts are:-
Kidscape 08451 205 204
Bullying UK http://www.bullying.co.uk
http://www.beatbullying.org


I am worried about the safety of a child I know, what can I do?
If you are worried about your own or someone else's treatment of a child, seek advice about what practical and emotional support is available.
It is important that children know what to do when the feel unsafe. Do they know who to talk to and how to get to a safe place or person?
For further information please see the Safe Parenting Handbook by visiting www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection
You can also contact the following organisations for help and advice:-
Middlesbrough Children, Families and Learning 01642 726004
Redcar and Cleveland Children's Services Department 01642 771500
South Tees Out of Hours 08702 402994
Cleveland Police 01642 326326
NSPCC National Helpline 0808 800 5000
NSPCC Asian Helpline 0800 096 7719
Parentline Plus 0808 800 2222
Family Rights Group 0800 731 1696


What damage can shaking a baby cause?
A range of signs can indicate if a child may have been shaken, including feeding difficulties, lethargy, eye injuries, vomiting, irritability, speech and learning difficulties, developmental delay, seizures and paralysis.
If you are worried about your child, take him or her to see your GP, Health Visitor or the Casualty department. Seek support, including the helplines listed under contacts.
For more information please see the Safe Parenting Handbook by visiting www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection.

Contacts:
Cry-sis Helpline 08451 228 669
Parentline Plus 0808 800 2222
NHS Direct 0845 4647

For advice from your local Health Visiting and School Nursing services in Redcar and Cleveland please visit links below

Health Visiting and School Nursing - West (covers Eston, Grangetown, Normanby,South Bank, Nunthorpe, Teesville, Ormesby and Overfields)
http://www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/family.nsf/Service?readform&id=D76898B136668C4580257377002EEE4A

Health Visiting and School Nursing - East (This service covers Boosbeck, Brotton, Carlin How, Charltons, Guisborough, Lingdale, Loftus,
Saltburn, Skelton and Skinningrove) http://www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/family.nsf/Service?readform&id=469A9195AB94DD9C80257375003C58F2

Health Visiting and School Nursing - Central (This service covers Marske, New Marske,Redcar and Saltburn)
http://www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/family.nsf/Service?readform&id=D76898B136668C4580257377002EEE4A


Is my home safe enough for my child?
Spend some time exploring your house as if you were a young child. This will show you the many potential dangers which, if not removed, could harm your child. Remove dangerous objects like drugs, syringes, medicines and household chemicals out of the reach of children and lock them safely away. Do this before your child is exposed to any hazard.

For more information please see the Safe Parenting Handbook at www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/childprotection

Other useful contacts are:-

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) 0121 248 2000 www.rospa.co.uk
Child Accident Prevention Trust 020 7608 3828 www.capt.org.uk

Talk to your Health Visitor or Midwife

For advice from your local Health Visiting and School Nursing services in Redcar and Cleveland please visit links below

Health Visiting and School Nursing - West (covers Eston, Grangetown, Normanby,South Bank, Nunthorpe, Teesville, Ormesby and Overfields)
http://www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/family.nsf/Service?readform&id=D76898B136668C4580257377002EEE4A

Health Visiting and School Nursing - East (This service covers Boosbeck, Brotton, Carlin How, Charltons, Guisborough, Lingdale, Loftus,
Saltburn, Skelton and Skinningrove) http://www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/family.nsf/Service?readform&id=469A9195AB94DD9C80257375003C58F2

Health Visiting and School Nursing - Central (This service covers Marske, New Marske,Redcar and Saltburn)
http://www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/family.nsf/Service?readform&id=D76898B136668C4580257377002EEE4A