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MindMate professionals

Staying safe

If something upsetting, scary or stressful has happened to you, it can have quite a big effect on your mental health, even if it happened years ago. If you have been hurt or not looked after properly, or treated in a way that makes you feel scared or unsafe or you feel very unhappy or alone you must tell an adult that you trust.

If you think this might have happened to you, there are lots of places you can go for advice, with some suggestions below.

If you are over 16 and were hurt or abused as a child, MindWell has lots of information which could help you.


If you tell an adult about abuse or neglect they will need to share this information with others if they think you are ‘at risk of harm’. This is to make sure that you are safe and get the support you need.

If you want to talk to someone about abuse or neglect of any kind call ChildLine free on 0800 1111


Online Safety

It’s important to protect yourself if you’re online. The Childline website has the lowdown on everything from online bullying to social media, to keeping yourself safe from online grooming and how to protect your personal info.

There are different ways children and young people can be hurt or abused. Find out more below.

If you are a parent or professional and have concerns about a child or young person, the Leeds Safeguarding Children’s Board website has information on where to go for help in Leeds.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse may involve being hit, slapped or kicked. It could involve being locked in a room, or being restrained inappropriately.


Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse involves someone being made to take part in a sexual activity when the person does not, or is not able to give their consent.


Child Sexual Exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse where someone is taking advantage of children or young people for money, power or status. It could be through physical contact or online.


Emotional or psychological abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse includes being shouted at, or bullied. It also includes being made to feel frightened.



Neglect means not giving proper care so that the child or young person being harmed. It might include being left at home alone too young or not receiving enough food.


Abusive relationships

If you are in a relationship with someone, you should feel loved, safe, respected and free to be yourself. If you feel scared, intimidated or controlled by someone you might be in an abusive relationship.

Disrespect Nobody

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation – also called FGM, female circumcision, cutting or sunna – is when a girl’s external genitals (private parts) are cut away. This is abuse, and it is illegal in the UK.



Radicalisation is when someone starts to believe or support extreme views which could be dangerous. They could be pressured to do things by someone else.


Staying safe when meeting up

We know that sometimes talking about your feelings is not easy and that you might want to do this in a place you’re comfortable in or a place of your choice but only if you choose to do this.

It’s really important that the person you’re meeting is who they say they are.

Guide to staying safe