Support Services in the UK

NSPCC Helpline

08088005000
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Childline

08001111
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NWG Network

01332 585371
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Child Helpline International

116111
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Key messages

*From the Pro Safe Sport+ Project of the European Union and the Council of Europe

Children and young people usually don’t tell but rely on adults to see the signs in them and in the behaviour of their abusers. It is essential that sports bodies put in place codes of conduct which set out acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for adults and young people:

  • children and young people have rights and these must be in the centre of all activities;
  • success belongs to the athlete. Coaches and entourage are doing their job and/or supporting the child or young person;
  • sport is ONE of the many environments in which children and young people develop but not the ONLY one. Family, friends and school environments must continue to be part of the athlete’s life as their sporting level advances;
  • children and young people have dreams, opinions, ideas and a clear voice about everything that affects them. They must be listened to and taken into consideration in everything to do with their own development;
  • you seek help if you break a bone – you can also seek help if you feel emotional pain.
  • there is NO CONSENT for a sexual relationship when it comes to a child or young person;
  • men, women, teens, boys and girls may abuse a child or a teen;
  • children and young people have clear limits when it comes to their own bodies and these limits must be respected;

How to respond to a child or young person who tells you that they are being abused: dos and don'ts

*From the Pro Safe Sport+ Project of the European Union and the Council of Europe

Everyone should be familiar with their organisation’s policy and procedures on how to respond and know who to report their concerns to inside and outside the organisation.

National organisations should have:

  • a written policy about the protection of children and young people;
  • codes of conduct/behaviour for adults and young people;
  • written procedures for how to respond to all concerns about children and young people including when they disclose violence or abuse themselves;
  • complaints and disciplinary procedures;
  • a designated person for child protection who everyone knows how to contact.

Sports clubs must at least ensure that children are aware of their rights and any helplines they can turn to, and ensure that people in the club know who to report their concerns to.

If a child or young person tells you that they are being abused:

Remember that most children find it extremely hard to tell someone they are experiencing violence or abuse.

It is very important to:

  • keep calm and do not show shock or disapproval;
  • listen carefully to what the child or young person says;
  • reassure the child or young person that they were right to tell and what has happened is not their fault;
  • let the child or young person know they are believed;
  • let the child or young person freely recall what they want to say;
  • only ask questions to clarify something you may not have understood – remember that the child or young person may need to be interviewed again as part of a statutory agency /criminal investigation;
  • avoid making any promises that you may not be able to keep such as keeping what the child or young person says as confidential when you have to share this;
  • tell the child or young person what you are going to do next; provide information on other sources of help such as child helplines;
  • pass on the report to your designated person with responsibility for child protection as soon as possible. If they are not available ensure that you pass information to statutory agencies who can take action to investigate the allegations and ensure the child or young person’s safety. Take their advice on who should contact the child or young person’s parents.

NSPCC Helpline

08088005000
web

Childline

08001111
web

NWG Network

01332 585371
web

Child Helpline International

116111
web