Here you will find information on how to stay safe, happy and healthy.
Every child and young person has rights and this includes the right to be safe, happy and healthy. Although you may sometimes feel you have very little power, you actually have lots. This is because you have these rights. Rights are like rules that help to look after you and keep you safe.
The rights of children and young people have been agreed to by lots of countries in the world – including Scotland – in a document called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UNCRC for short. The Convention says that everyone should work to make sure that these rights are protected.
But this doesn’t always happen. Some people hurt children rather than protect them. Another word for hurting someone is ‘abuse’. Child abuse happens in unhealthy or bad relationships. People in bad relationships with children and young people can abuse them in lots of different ways:
- Physical Abuse – This is when someone hurts someone else. This can be with their hands, feet or an object. Kicking, hitting, beating, punching, pinching and biting are all different sorts of physical abuse. If someone is hurting a child, it’s never the child’s fault and it should always stop.
- Emotional Abuse – This is when someone hurts someone else’s feelings. Emotional abuse can be difficult to explain, but it is the way that it makes a child feel that is important. All children deserve to have people in their lives that love and support them as they grow up. Emotional abuse is never right and every child has a right to be safe and happy.
- Sexual Abuse – This is when someone tries to trick a child or young person into any kind of sexual activity. They can touch them in places that are private or make them do things they think are wrong. Sexual abuse can make a child feel confused and scared, but they have not done anything wrong. No matter what anyone says, if you are uncomfortable with the way someone touches you or with anything they try to make you do, you should always speak to a trusted adult.
- Neglect – This is when a child is not being looked after or cared for properly by their parents or carers. They may not have enough food to eat or enough clothes to keep them warm. Children who are neglected can become very unhealthy and feel that no one loves or wants them. It’s important they speak to someone so that they can get the important things they need to stay healthy and strong.
- Bullying and Racism – Being threatened, made fun of or being made to feel that you don’t matter are all examples of bullying. Bullying includes having money, food or other things taken or damaged. It also includes being ignored or purposely left out by other people.
Racism is treating someone differently because of they are from a different race or culture. It can also be if people are treated differently because of their religion or nationality. It is against the law to treat people unfairly because of their race, culture, religion or nationality.
If you are being bullied for any reason, you should always speak to a trusted adult.
Child abuse can affect all kinds of children, no matter where they live, how much money their families have, or who they live with. Child abuse can happen anywhere – including at home, at school, at a friend’s house or online.
There is no reason that makes abusing another person okay – abuse is always wrong and it is never a child’s fault.
Worried about someone?
A child who is being hurt or harmed in any way should tell a trusted adult right away. This can be hard because the person who is hurting the child might have frightened them into keeping the abuse a secret.
If you are worried about something, it’s always better to speak to a trusted adult. A trusted adult can be anyone you feel you can trust who will listen and help you. This can be a member of your family, like a parent or carer, or someone you see regularly, like a teacher. If the first person you speak to doesn’t listen or help, keep telling until someone does!
If you feel there is no one you know who you can go to, then there are lots of other people who will be able to help, like the police or social services. If you have any worries or want to talk, you can also always call roshni on 0808 80 22 222 for free from any mobile phone or landline.
If you are worried about yourself or someone you know and you think it might be an emergency, you shouldn’t wait to speak to a trusted adult. You should phone the police as soon as you can on 999.