Signs of Abuse

Child Abuse

Unfortunately, many children and young people in Doncaster will experience rape or sexual abuse during their childhood. Research shows that around 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys experience some form of child sexual abuse.

Signs of child abuse can include:

  • Bad dreams or nightmares
  • Having problems concentrating
  • Inappropriate behaviour between a child and adult e.g. overly affectionate in an adult way
  • Very sexual behaviour or a child having too much sexual knowledge for their age
  • Children trying or wanting to hurt themselves
  • Running away
  • Being emotionally withdrawn or anxious not to see certain people

Remember: These signs do not always mean that a child is being abused. However, if you are worried about a child in Doncaster call Social Services (01302 737777) or the Police.

For more information about all forms of child abuse visit the NSPCC website or for more local information visit the Doncaster Council website.

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults

Vulnerable adults are people aged 18 years or over who, for a variety of reasons, may not be able to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation. Signs of abuse of vulnerable adults could include:

  • A change in usual behaviour for no apparent or obvious reason
  • Sudden onset of confusion, wetting or soiling
  • Withdrawal, choosing to spend the majority of time alone
  • Overt sexual behaviour/language by the vulnerable person
  • Self-inflicted injury
  • Disturbed sleep pattern and poor concentration
  • Pain or itching, bruising or bleeding in the genital area
  • Sexually transmitted urinary tract/vaginal infections
  • Bruising to the thighs and upper arms
  • Frequent infections
  • Severe upset or agitation when being bathed/dressed/undressed/medically examined
  • Pregnancy in a person not able to consent

If you are concerned about a vulnerable adult, call Doncaster Social Services Adult Contact Team on 01302 737391 (08:30-17:00, Monday to Friday) or email Outside these times or on Bank Holidays, call the Emergency Social Services Team on 01302 796000.