A healthy relationship includes good communication, mutual respect, trust, honesty,

Social Services may be able to support you if you face challenges with health needs, family difficulties or problems at home.

There are a number of reasons you or an adult you know may need support including:

  • Disability, learning difficulty or mental health issues
  • Hearing or visual impairments
  • Respite care or caring for an adult
  • Difficulties in managing at home
  • Family difficulties
  • Help or alcohol abuse

If you are worried that an adult is at risk of immediate harm then call 999. If you think that an adult is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed by someone else or is neglecting themselves. If you are worried that a vulnerable adult is living in circumstances (at home or in care) where they are being treated badly or neglected, you can ring the Social Services for the area where the adult lives who needs help or support.

Liverpool Careline Adult Services

0151 233 3800


Knowsley Adult Services

0151 443 2600


Sefton Adult Services

0345 140 0845


St Helens Adult Services

0345 140 0845


If you believe that a child or young person is at immediate risk, you should report this without delay to the police service on 999. It is the Police’s job to protect you from harm and stop crimes being committed against you or other children.

If you are a child who is suffering from harm, neglect or abuse or are worried that another child may be suffering you can:

Talk to someone outside your family that you trust like a teacher, school nurse, police officer or other person in authority.

Contact Children’s Social Care for the area in which you live and speak to someone. A Social Worker works for the government and their job is to help you if you need to be protected from harm.

Careline Liverpool Children’s Services

0151 233 3700

Knowsley Children’s Services

0151 443 2600

St Helens Children’s Services

01744 676767






What is child exploitation?

Child exploitation (CE) is a type of abuse that can be sexual or criminal.

 When a child or young person is exploited, they're given things, like gifts, drugs, money, status and affection, in exchange for performing sexual activities. Children and young people are often tricked into believing they're in a loving and consensual relationship. This is called grooming. They may trust their abuser and not understand that they're being abused.

Children and young people can be trafficked into or within the UK to be sexually exploited. They're moved around the country and abused by being forced to take part in sexual activities, often with more than one person. Young people in gangs can also be sexually exploited.

Sometimes abusers use violence and intimidation to frighten or force a child or young person, making them feel as if they've no choice. They may lend them large sums of money they know can't be repaid or use financial abuse to control them. (NSPCC)

Children and young people can also be exploited online and asked to send indecent images of themselves, these can then be used to intimidate a young person or shared

Anybody can be a perpetrator of CSE, no matter their age, gender or race. The relationship could be framed as friendship, someone to look up to or romantic.

Children and young people who are exploited may also be used to 'find' or coerce others to join groups, such a criminal gangs or used to traffic drugs or become drug runners.






Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” (World Health Organisation, WHO, 2018). FGM is an international concern which has due to high levels of migration become an increasing concern within the UK. In UK FGM is defined as mutilation of the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris (Department of Education, Department of Health and Social Care, Home Office, 2018).

Within the UK it is estimated that 10,000 girls under age 15, 103,000 women aged 15 to 49, and 24,000 age 50+, who have migrated to the UK, are living with the consequences of FGM (Macfarlane and Dorkenoo, 2015).

FGM is a form of child abuse. It's dangerous and a criminal offence in the UK. We know:

  • there are no medical reasons to carry out FGM
  • it's often performed by someone with no medical training, using instruments such as knives, scalpels, scissors, glass or razor blades
  • children are rarely given anaesthetic or antiseptic treatment and are often forcibly restrained
  • it's used to control female sexuality and can cause long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health (NSPCC).

There are no health benefits to FGM. It can cause serious harm, including:

  • severe and/or constant pain
  • infections, such as tetanus, HIV and hepatitis B and C
  • pain or difficulty having sex
  • infertility
  • bleeding, cysts and abscesses
  • difficulties urinating or incontinence
  • organ damage
  • problems during pregnancy and childbirth, which can be life-threatening for the mother and baby
  • mental health problems, such as depression, flashbacks and self-harm
  • death from blood loss or infections (NSPCC).

If you have concerns regarding someone at risk of FGM or someone having undergone FGM follow the inks below to report it:






Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or more of the parties are married without consent. It can happen in secret and can also be planned by parents, family or religious leaders.

Forced marriage is illegal in England and Wales.

It is your choice to marry who you want, when you want or if you want to marry at all.

Forced marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry or emotional and psychological pressure. (This may be threats, physical or sexual violence or you may be made to feel like you are bringing shame on your family)

Force Marriage Offences

  • taking somebody overseas to force them to marry
  • marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage

Some children and young people are forced to marry by their families because they:

  • think it’s an important part of religion or culture
  • are worried about the family’s reputation and honour
  • want to exchange married for money
  • don’t want their children to have relationships or sex
  • want to keep family honour and values
  • don’t approve of their child being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender
  • Feel pressured by the community or family members to follow traditions.


  • If you feel your life is in danger call 999
  • There are people who can help
  • Forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

For further support see links below:







Savera UK



Care Line









The Childrens Commissioner for England estimates there are approximately 27,000 children and young people who identify as being in gangs (2019).  It is difficult to define what a gang is however may be one of the following:

Young people who are on the edge of or involved in gangs are at risk of or affected by gang activity, criminal exploitation or serious youth violence can be at risk of significant harm through physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Recognising the risks is the first steps in staying safe.

Why do people join gangs?

Young people join gangs for lots of different reasons. Some of these include:

  • fitting in with friends and other gang members
  • having the same interests as other people, like sports or music
  • feeling respected and important
  • to be protected from bullying or from other gangs
  • making money from crime or drugs
  • gaining status and feeling powerful.

Hanging out with your friends can be a good way to get to know each other and share hobbies and interests. But it can become dangerous if you join a gang that does illegal things like theft or gun and knife crime (Childline).

Is it illegal to join a gang?

You don't have to join a gang if you don't feel comfortable or sure about things.

Being in a gang isn't against the law. But being involved with illegal activities (that some gangs do) could be an offence.

You could go to prison or end up with a criminal record if you're involved with:

If you have a criminal record you might not be:

  • accepted into a university, college or higher education
  • able to get a job, internship or do work experience
  • allowed to travel to some countries, like the USA.

It's important to think about your future and how being in a gang can affect your life (Childline).

How can I leave a gang?

How you leave a gang can depend on what your position is within the gang. It’s not always easy.

But it’s possible to leave safely and without any problems.

You might worry that:

  • other gangs might still see you as a rival and could try to harm you
  • the people in your gang won't allow you to leave or will make it hard for you
  • your family or friends could be targeted if you leave
  • you won't have any friends or fit in any more
  • you won't feel safe if you're not in the gang.

You may want to think about the positive things in your life and want you want your future to be like.

Some tips to help you leave a gang:

  • try to spend less time with the gang and find friends who are not in gangs
  • try to avoid places where you know the gang will be
  • speak to someone you trust like a family member, teacher or youth worker
  • you can contact Gangsline for free advice and support from ex-gang members
  • you can call the police by dialling 999 for urgent help if you're in danger
  • focus on things that you enjoy like sports, music, reading or find new hobbies (Childline)

What can I do my friend is in a gang?

It can be really worrying if you know someone who is in a gang and you want to help them. You don't have to cope with things on your own, you can talk to a counsellor to get help.

You could also try:

  • letting the person know how you feel
  • encouraging the person to think about their safety and their future
  • asking an adult for help, like a teacher or parent who you trust
  • contacting Gangsline for free advice and support from ex-gang members
  • encouraging the person to contact Childline
  • calling 999 if you think the person is in danger and needs urgent help.

Find out more about helping a friend

For more information:






Intimate partner violence (IPV) is domestic violence by a current or former spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other spouse or partner. It may occur between heterosexual or homosexual couples and victims can be male or female. Couples may be dating, living together or married and violence can occur in or outside of the home.

Intimate partner violence can take a number of forms including physical, emotional, verbal, economic and sexual abuse.

The most common but less injurious form of intimate partner violence is situational couple violence (also known as situational violence), which is conducted by individuals of both genders nearly equally, and is more likely to occur among younger couples, including adolescents and those of college and University age.


Women's National Domestic Violence Helpline


Women's Aid


Rights of Women


Galop LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline


Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors (Flows)


Men's Advice Line


Mankind Initiative



Honour Based Abuse is a crime that has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community. The perpetrator feels that the only way to restore family honour is to harm or kill the victim. Women and girls are the most common victims of Honour Based Abuse (HBA).

Honour Based Abuse can include:

  • Domestic abuse including physical and psychological pressure, strict monitoring, humiliation, threats)
  • Threats of violence
  • Financial and dowry abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Forced marriage
  • Being held against your will
  • Assault
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Support for HBA can be obtained at:






Domestic Violence and Abuse