What we do

Hillingdon Safeguarding Children Partnership is committed to supporting children in the London Borough of Hillingdon. This page offers parents and carers some advice and guidance about safeguarding.

What is Abuse?

Being mistreated or abused (sometimes called ‘Significant Harm’) is defined as Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Neglect or Emotional Abuse.

Sexual Abuse

An example of sexual abuse would be where a child has been forced to take part in sexual activities or in the taking of rude photos.

Domestic Violence

When one adult in a family or relationship threatens, bullies or hurts another member of the family e.g. physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially.

Physical Abuse

When an adult deliberately hurts a child, such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating.

Emotional Abuse

This would happen, for instance, when a child is being unfairly blamed for everything all the time, or told they are stupid and made to feel unhappy.


Where a child is not being looked after properly, for example, not getting enough to eat or being left alone in dangerous situations.


E.g. calling names, damaging property, stealing, spreading rumours, cyberbullying, hurting, getting people into trouble.

Child Sexual Exploitation

The Department for Education (DfE) recently defined Child Exploitation in February 2017 as follows –

“Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.”

Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 therefore involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money, enhanced status) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.

Both girls and boys are at risk of sexual exploitation and its damaging physical and emotional effects. Children and young people often find it very hard to understand or accept that they are being abused through sexual exploitation, and this increases their risk of being exposed to violent assault and life threatening events by those who abuse them.

Is your child at risk of CSE? Is your child –

  • Going missing for periods of time or regularly returning home late?
  • Frequently staying out late or overnight with no explanation as to where they have been?
  • Going to places that you know they cannot afford or normally access?
  • Skipping school or being disruptive in class?
  • Suddenly acquiring expensive gifts such as mobile phones, jewellery – even drugs – and not being able to explain how they came by them?
  • Having mood swings and changes in temperament?
  • Displaying noticeable changes in behaviour – becoming secretive, defensive or aggressive when asked about their personal life?
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing that is too adult or revealing for their age?
  • Displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviours, such as over-familiarity with strangers, dressing in a sexualised manner or sending sexualised images by mobile phone (‘sexting’)
  • Getting into trouble with the police?
  • Coming home with bruises, marks on the body, sexually-transmitted diseases, pregnant, using drugs and alcohol or self-harming?
  • Having repeated phone calls, letters, emails from adults outside the family?

If you are worried your child is at risk of CSE, please contact Hillingdon MASH on 01895 556633 for advice and support.


It can be really difficult for someone to open up and talk about if they are self-harming. If you are concerned that your child is self-harming, or they have disclosed to you that they are, the best thing is not to panic. You could try to find out why they self-harm (it’s important to focus on the reasons and not the injuries) and listen to them. Be prepared that the child or young person may not understand why they self harm, and may not be able to answer this question.

There are lots of places online where you can find support and information, and lots of places that young people can go to talk to someone in person.

Online Safety

The internet is such an integral part of children’s lives these days. It opens up so many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to, quite literally, a world of information and experiences.

Whether on a computer at school, a laptop at home, a games console or mobile phone, children and young people are increasingly accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are.

As you would protect your child in the real world, you will want to make sure that they are safe whatever they are doing. Like learning to cross the road, online.

E-Safety skills are skills for life. If your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so – particularly from those people who might seek them out to harm them.


The Underwear Rule

Teach your child the NSPCC’s Underwear Rule and help protect them from abuse

The Underwear Rule is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from abuse – without using scary words or mentioning sex. For more information please visit the NSPCC website.