Lots of the language on our advice page can be quite confusing!
To find what all of the words mean, have a look at our Dictionary page below!
If there are any other words that you don’t understand, please contact us
Abuse is when someone hurts or causes emotional stress to someone else. Abuse can affect anyone. It can happen in any kind of relationship, like a friendship, romantic relationship, or among family members. Abuse can happen in many ways. Hate crimes directed at people because of their race, religion, abilities, gender, or sexual orientation are also abuse.
Advocacy means getting support from another person to help you express your views and wishes, and help you stand up for your rights. Someone who helps you in this way is called your advocate.
Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future.
Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.
A period of mourning after a loss, especially after the death of a loved one.
Biphobia is fear, hatred, discomfort, or mistrust, specifically of people who are bisexual.
Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else. It includes name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone.
It can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child both physically and emotionally.
Catfishing is the practice of pretending on social media to be someone different, in order to trick or attract another person
The United Nations (UN) describe a child as those persons under the age of 14
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. 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.
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.
Trafficking is where children and young people tricked, forced or persuaded to leave their homes and are moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold. Children are trafficked for:
domestic slavery like cleaning, cooking and childcare,
forced labour in factories or agriculture,
committing crimes, like begging, theft, working on cannabis farms or moving drugs.
Trafficked children experience many types of abuse and neglect. Traffickers use physical, sexual and emotional abuse as a form of control. Children and young people are also likely to be physically and emotionally neglected and may be sexually exploited.
County Lines is a term used for organised illegal drug-dealing networks, usually controlled by a person using a single telephone number or ‘deal line’.
Criminal exploitation is child abuse where children and young people are manipulated and coerced into committing crimes.
When professional criminals target the homes of vulnerable adults so they can use the property for drug-dealing and other criminal activities.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place online. Unlike bullying offline, online bullying can follow the child wherever they go, via social networks, gaming and mobile phone.
Following a target online by using electronic means such as social media, email, instant messaging or messages posted to a discussion group or forum
Synthetic media is used in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness
Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. It can seriously harm children and young people and witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse. It’s important to remember domestic abuse:
can happen inside and outside the home,
can happen over the phone, on the internet and on social networking sites,
can happen in any relationship and can continue even after the relationship has ended,
both men and women can be abused or abusers.
Someone on the internet (the doxxer) posts personal information about someone else (the victim) for the world to see. The information is sensitive, meaning it can be used to figure out who someone really is, where they live and how to contact them.
Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that involves the continual emotional mistreatment of a child. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse. Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare, humiliate, isolate or ignore a child.
Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. It includes calls for the death of members of the British armed forces.
FGM is when a female’s genitals are deliberately altered or removed for non-medical reasons. It’s also known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘cutting’, but has many other names.
A person known to the victim instigates an online fight through hurtful messages targeted at another using strong or harsh language usually in a public setting
Gambling is when people take part in a game – such as scratchcards, fruit machines or betting with friends – to stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance
This is done with the chance of being able to win a bigger prize if you predict correctly. If you predict incorrectly, the money that you gambled will not be given back to you.
The act of manipulating a person by forcing them to question their thoughts, memories, and the events occurring around them. A tactic used by someone in order to gain more power, makes a person question their reality.
A relatively new colloquial term that refers to abruptly cutting off contact with someone without any explanation for doing so.
Grooming is when someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.
Anybody can be a groomer, no matter their age, gender or race. Grooming can take place over a short or long period of time – from weeks to years. Groomers may also build a relationship with the young person’s family or friends to make them seem trustworthy or authoritative.
Unauthorised intrusion into a device or network with the intention to attack, harm or incriminate another individual by stealing their data, violating their privacy or infecting their devices with viruses
Harmful sexual behaviours is used to describe a continuum of sexual behaviours, from inappropriate, to problematic, to abusive.
Harassment is unwanted behaviour which you find offensive or which makes you feel intimidated or humiliated. It can happen on its own or alongside other forms of discrimination.
Unwanted behaviour could be:
spoken or written words or abuse
offensive emails, tweets or comments on social networking sites
images and graffiti
You don’t need to have previously objected to something for it to be unwanted.
The police will record any crime as a hate crime where the victim or any other person perceives it was motivated by hostility or prejudice towards their identity. This can include: disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and other variations of hate crime.
Homophobia is the fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
Identity theft is a method used to carry out criminal activity, involving unauthorised use of your name and personal details to either steal from you, or commit a crime in your name. Identity theft can be carried out either online, physically using printed documents, or by a combination of the two.
Legislation is a law or a set of laws that have been passed by Parliament. The word is also used to describe the act of making a new law.
LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others. The “plus” represents other sexual identities including pansexual and Two-Spirit. The first four letters of the acronym have been used since the 1990s, but in recent years there has been an increased awareness of the need to be inclusive of other sexual identities to offer better representation.
The acronym is used to represent a diverse range of sexualities and gender-identities, referring to anyone who is transgender and/or same/similar gender attracted.
Each local authority is required by law to produce a Local Offer which sets out the support they expect to be available for children and young people in Sandwell with special educational needs and disabilities, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. The Local Offer should always be continuously reviewed and our young people should be regularly consulted to make sure the support on offer is up to date and is meeting their needs.
It includes information on lots of different services, from transport, to social care, health, education and other accessible support groups/forums. In setting out what they ‘expect to be available’, local authorities should include provision which they believe will actually be available.
A Looked After Young Person is a young person who is in care or is looked after by the local authority. This could be in foster care, a residential Children’s home, residential school, external placement (residential children’s home outside of Sandwell) or respite care.
Love bombing is the practice of showing a person excessive affection and attention as a way of manipulating them in a relationship.
Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave.
Modern slavery is the severe exploitation of other people for personal or commercial gain. Modern slavery is all around us, but often just out of sight. People can become entrapped making our clothes, serving our food, picking our crops, working in factories, or working in houses as cooks, cleaners or nannies.
Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and the most common form of child abuse2. A child might be left hungry or dirty, or without proper clothing, shelter, supervision or health care. This can put children and young people in danger. And it can also have long term effects on their physical and mental wellbeing.
Non-recent child abuse, sometimes called historical abuse, is when an adult was abused as a child or young person under the age of 18. Sometimes adults who were abused in childhood blame themselves or are made to feel it’s their fault. But this is never the case: there’s no excuse for abuse.
You might have known you were abused for a very long or only recently learnt or understood what happened to you. Whether the abuse happened once or hundreds of times, a year or 70 years ago, whatever the circumstances, there’s support to help you. It’s never too late.
Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the internet. It can happen across any device that’s connected to the web, like computers, tablets and mobile phones. And it can happen anywhere online, including:
text messages and messaging apps,
Children can be at risk of online abuse from people they know or from strangers. It might be part of other abuse which is taking place offline, like bullying or grooming. Or the abuse might only happen online.
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message.
Physical abuse is when someone hurts or harms a child or young person on purpose. It includes:
hitting with hands or objects,
slapping and punching,
burning and scalding,
biting and scratching,
It’s important to remember that physical abuse is any way of intentionally causing physical harm to a child or young person. It also includes making up the symptoms of an illness or causing a child to become unwell.
Racism is when people are treated unfairly because of their skin color or background. It is a kind of discrimination, and it causes great harm to people.
Radicalisation is the process through which a person comes to support or be involved in extremist ideologies. It can result in a person becoming drawn into terrorism and is in itself a form of harm.
Safeguarding means protecting the health, wellbeing and human rights of children, young people and adults at risk, enabling them to live safely, free from abuse and neglect. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and reduce both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect.
NHS England’s definition of SEND is: A child or young person has special educational needs and disabilities if they have a learning difficulty and/or a disability that means they need special health and education support
Sexting is when you send a sexual message, photo or video to someone else. It could be a picture of you, but sometimes people send pictures and videos of other people.
Messages could be to a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or someone online.
being partly or completely naked, or in your underwear
posing in a sexual position
sending ‘nudes’ or ‘dick pics’
talking about sexual things you’re doing or want to do
doing sexual things on a live stream
When a child or young person is sexually abused, they’re forced or tricked into sexual activities. They might not understand that what’s happening is abuse or that it’s wrong. And they might be afraid to tell someone. Sexual abuse can happen anywhere – and it can happen in person or online.
It’s never a child’s fault they were sexually abused – it’s important to make sure children know this.
When someone carries out unwanted sexual behaviour towards another person that makes them feel upset, scared, offended or humiliated. This unwanted sexual conduct can happen in person, on the phone, by text or by email, or online.
A pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
Substance misuse is the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or over-the-counter or prescription medications in a way that they are not meant to be used.
When we’re born, a doctor usually says that we’re male or female based on what our bodies look like. Most people who were labeled male at birth turn out to actually identify as men, and most people who were labeled female at birth grow up to be women. But some people’s gender identity – their innate knowledge of who they are – is different from what was initially expected when they were born. Most of these people describe themselves as transgender.
Transphobia is fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are transgender, genderqueer, or don’t follow traditional gender norms.
A troll is Internet slang for a person who intentionally tries to instigate conflict, hostility, or arguments in an online social community. Platforms targeted by trolls can include the comment sections of YouTube, forums, or chat rooms.
Trolls often use inflammatory messages to provoke emotional responses out of people, disrupting otherwise civil discussion. Trolling can occur anywhere that has an open area where people can freely post their thoughts and opinions.
A trusted adult is someone that you have a good relationship with. It is someone who you think has your best interests in mind. You have a right to choose whether you want a trusted adult and who that person will be. Your social worker can give you more information about trusted adults and advise you on whether the person you have chosen is suitable. Your trusted adult is there for you to talk to and support you. They:
can talk to you about any concerns or worries that you had and help you to do something about them,
could support you to talk to other people about your concerns or worries,
should be someone that you have regular contact with.
Mental wellbeing doesn’t have one set meaning. We might use it to talk about how we feel, how well we’re coping with daily life or what feels possible at the moment.
Good mental wellbeing doesn’t mean you’re always happy or unaffected by your experiences. But poor mental wellbeing can make it more difficult to cope with daily life.