It’s important to be aware of what you can do to keep safe, young people can feel unsafe and worried for all sorts of reasons. Some common worries are:
- Being bullied
- Falling out with friends
- Finding school hard
- Being hurt by someone and not being able to talk about it. If you are concerned about relationship abuse, sexting, consent or forced marriage, click here
To keep safe always:
- Tell someone you trust, so they can help you.
- Travel with a friend, avoid travelling in someone else’s car by yourself
- Trust your instincts about people you meet
- Avoid going to other people’s’ homes by yourself
- Avoid being alone or with just one other person
- Carry a mobile phone, phone card or change.
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 officer if you have been victim of a crime
- A counsellor on a helpline such as the NSPCC or Childline
- If you are in care or ‘looked after’ by Hillingdon and you want to speak to someone independent, who can help you say what is happening, you can contact NYAS on 0808 808 1001 or help@NYAS.net
- or the Children’s Rights and Participation Team on 07912 759284/ 07956 0625654
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. The staff at the library will help you use the machines if you ask them. Some useful websites to try: