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Who you can talk to if you're worried about your safety
Young people can feel unsafe and worried for all sorts of reasons. Some common worries are:
- Being bullied
- Being upset when parents split up
- Falling out with friends
- Finding school hard
- Being hurt by someone and not being able to talk about it
Talk to someone who can help you
If you have a worry the most important thing is to talk to someone who can help you.
Sometimes this is hard because you feel embarrassed or are not sure who they will tell. If you do not want to talk to your parents or carers you could talk to:
- A teacher, or youth worker that you get on with
- Your school nurse
- Your school counsellor if there is one
- A police office if you have been victim of a crime
- A counsellor on a helpline such as the NSPCC or Childline
If the first person you talk to does not help try someone else.
Find out more on the Childline website.
If I tell someone I feel unsafe will they tell someone else?
- Only if they think that you may come to serious harm
- Aside from that, different workers may have slightly different rules
- It is a good idea to check before you talk to anyone what his or her rules are
- Anyone who is going to pass on information that you have given them should talk to you about this
- Remember that you can always talk to a doctor or a nurse about sexual health or contraception without him or her telling anyone else, unless they think you are at very serious risk of harm
If you talk to someone you can take control by:
- Asking whether they will tell anyone else
- Remembering you are in charge of what you tell them
If I tell a worker I have been abused will they always tell someone else?
All workers have a duty to tell the police or a social worker about any young person who may come to serious harm so they can be protected.
Different workers have slightly different rules about what and when they have to report. Check out before you talk to anyone what their rules are.
Remember you are in charge of what you tell people. Before they pass on information you have given them they should ask for your agreement.
You can always talk to a doctor or a nurse about sexual health or contraception without them telling anyone else unless they think you are at very serious risk of harm.
Where to get advice without anyone else knowing
A good place to start is the internet. You can surf the net for free in your local library or Connexions access points and no one will check what you are looking at. The staff at the library will help you use the machines if you ask them. At Connexions you can also speak to a personal adviser about these issues.
Some useful websites to try
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
- Childline or freephone 0800 1111
- Metropolitan Police
- Youth offending service - information leaflets about youth crime
Information on child abuse
- NSPCC provides information what is abuse, bullying and how to get help
- Childline the site for young people who want to talk