Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the web, whether through social networks, playing online games or using mobile phones. Children and young people may experience cyberbullying, grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or emotional abuse.

Children can be at risk of online abuse from people they know, as well as from strangers. Online abuse may be part of abuse that is taking place in the real world (for example bullying or grooming). Or it may be that the abuse only happens online (for example persuading children to take part in sexual activity online).

Children can feel like there is no escape from online abuse – abusers can contact them at any time of the day or night, the abuse can come into safe places like their bedrooms, and images and videos can be stored and shared with other people.

Read more about online abuse

Worried about a child?

Contact our trained helpline counsellors for 24/7 help, advice and support.

0808 800 5000

Report a concern

Help and advice

Signs, symptoms and effects

What to look out for: the signs, symptoms and effects of online abuse.
Spotting the signs of online abuse

Keeping children safe

Helpful information, advice and tools on how to keep children safe from online abuse.
Keeping children safe from online abuse

Research and resources

Research, reports and resources for parents and anyone working with children about online abuse.
Find research and resources

Report illegal content

If you know of an explicit image of a child, report it the Internet Watch Foundation. They work with the police to remove images from the internet.  

Make a report

Donate now

Every call is a chance to stop abuse. Support the NSPCC helpline and help us stop children suffering in silence.

Help give children a voice

Free online safety workshops

Along with O2, we're holding free workshops to help parents learn how to keep children safe online. 

Sign up now

What we do about online abuse

Online safety

Helpful advice and tools you can use to help keep your child safe whenever and wherever they go online.
Online safety advice

Share Aware

Children are told it's good to share, but sharing too much online can be dangerous. Help your child stay safe on social networks, apps and games.
Be Share Aware

Donate now

Our services are helping turn lives around. Your gift can help rebuild lives, and prevent abuse from ruining any more.

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Keeping children safe online course

Online training to give you a clear understanding of how children use the internet and other digital technology. Newly updated for 2016. Cost: £30
More on this course

Get expert training and consultancy

Grow your child protection knowledge and skills with CPD certified courses delivered by our experts nationwide and online.
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Childline

Childline is our free, confidential helpline for children and young people. Whenever children need us, Childline is there for them – by phone, email or live chat.

0800 1111

Read about Childline

Speak out. Stay safe.

Our programme (formerly Childline Schools Service) uses specially trained staff and volunteers to talk to primary school children about abuse.
Speak Out. Stay Safe.

It's Time to demand change

Up to 90% of children who've been abused will develop mental health issues by the time they're 18.

Help us change this