Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional and/or verbal. When a young person is abused, it can affect every aspect of their lives, especially self-esteem.

Children and young people who are abused often have trouble sleeping, eating and concentrating at school.  They may be angry with other people and themselves and struggle to make friends.

It is normal for people who have been abused to feel angry, embarrassed, guilty and confused about what has happened. 

Abuse is a significant cause of depression in young people.  Some teenagers may engage in self-destructive behaviour, such as cutting or abusing drugs or alcohol, to cope with their feelings.

If you are concerned that a young person is suffering abuse, please do not keep it to yourself. It is important to act quickly and get help, so that the abuse can be stopped. Your local Social Services can help and advise you.

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