London Borough of Barnet

Sexual abuse

What is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is when someone forces you to get involved in sexual activity (direct or indirect) which you may not understand, have not given consent to or violate the sexual taboos of the individual.   

It can also include the involvement of people in sexual activities where one party is in a position of trust, power or authority. 

What should you do?

If you, or another adult you know is being harmed in any way by another person, please do not ignore it. You should contact:

  1. Social Care Direct on 020 8359 5000 or
  2. The Police on 101, but in an emergency always call 999

Any information you provide to us will be treated in the strictest confidence. To find out about what happens after you report abuse:

View our booklet

Sexual abuse can include: 

  • rape
  • anal sex 
  • incest (sexual intercourse between family members and close relatives) 
  • sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not agreed, or could not agree or was pressurised into agreeing 
  • being forced to watch pornography 
  • being photographed or filmed during sexual acts without consent
  • not having a choice about a care worker of the same sex to undertake intimate personal care

Indicators of sexual abuse can include:

  • overt sexualised behaviour or language where not previously used 
  • bruising, bleeding, soreness, cuts in genital or breast area 
  • difficulty in walking or sitting due to discomfort in genital area 
  • torn, stained or bloody underclothing 
  • depression / stress 
  • panic attacks
  • deliberate self-harm 
  • disturbed sleep patterns 
  • changes in usual behaviours, routines, appearance or dress e.g. sudden need to constantly wash
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Reporting Abuse

If someone you know is being harmed in any way by another person, please do not ignore it. If the person is in danger, or needs medical treatment call the police or ambulance on 999.
Telephone: 020 8359 5000
Textphone: 020 8359 6011
Text: 07506 693707 (SMS)

North London Business Park (NLBP),
Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP

Barnet Domestic Violence Service

The Barnet domestic violence service is a confidential service available to women and men aged 16 and over who live in Barnet. If you are being abused call us as soon as possible. In the event of an emergency, please call 999.

Tel: 020 8733 4113

Out of hours service

For urgent enquiries between 5pm and 9am or at the weekend, call this number and we will get back to you.

Tel: 020 8359 2000