Reporting to our helpline anonymously
Protect the child you are worried about and stay anonymous when contacting the NSPCC
Many people who want to contact us because they are worried about a child are also worried about sharing their identity.
They may be afraid of retaliation from a suspected abuser or concerned about the impact that making a report may have on their relationship with the child or family concerned.
However you choose to contact us, you don't have to tell us who you are, but it can help the child.
Because we act as a 'go between' with you and agencies like the police or social services, we need to make sure that they have all information they need to act on your concerns.
But we also want you to feel safe in making a report. You do not have to tell us who you are, but if you do, you can ask us not to pass on your details.
Many people have said that knowing they can talk to us anonymously has encouraged them to get in touch, and we believe it has helped us protect more children.
How we can protect the child and your identity
Our counsellors will encourage you to share your identity and contact details with us, so that we can get in touch if we need more information that may help the child.
In some cases, confirming a simple detail such as the child's age or address can make a big difference in helping us protect a child who is at immediate risk and keep them safe in the long term.
You can ask us not to pass your details on to any third party such as the police or Social Services. We will never do this without your permission and, whenever possible, will remove any identifying information if we need to refer your report.
We will always do our best to avoid the source of the report becoming obvious, but unfortunately cannot prevent individuals from guessing the source of the information. We will never give out any information about your report to an individual.
How you can remain anonymous
If you want to remain anonymous, there are different ways you can do so depending on whether you contact us by phone, email and text or our online reporting form.
Once you are connected to a counsellor, they will explain that you can stay anonymous by not sharing:
- your name
- phone number
- certain identifying information, such as describing yourself as a next door neighbour or relative
By text message or email
We do not have a record of the mobile phone number that is used to contact us by text, however we do have a record of the email address used to contact us.
If you have provided identifying information about the child and a serious concern, we will alert services or the police immediately.
The counsellor may also text or email back if they need more information, and sometimes ask you to call our helpline if you can.
By our online reporting form
When filling in the form, you will be asked whether you want to share your contact details. If you have provided those details, the helpline counsellor may contact you for more information.
If you have not given any contact details, we will assess the information that you have provided and take action if necessary.
We strongly encourage anyone filling in our online form to give some form of contact details.
Contact us for more information about remaining anonymous
If you have any questions about how we can protect your indentity, please contact us.
You can also read our frequently asked questions about what happens when you contact our helpline.
Worried about a child?
Don’t wait until you’re certain. Contact our trained helpline counsellors for 24/7 help, advice and support.
What to expect
Learn more about what happens when and after you get in touch, and meet some of the people who will help you.
Find out more about the signs, causes and effects abuse as well as information about children at risk and positive parenting guidance.
FAQs: Contacting our helpline
Read the most commonly asked questions about contacting our helpline service.