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Dictionary

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

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

A

abuse

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.

If you, or someone you know, has been affected by abuse, you can get support here.

advocacy

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

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.

If you, or someone you know is suffering with anxiety, you can get support here.

B

bereavement

A period of mourning after a loss, especially after the death of a loved one.

If you, or someone you know, has been affected by bereavement, you can get support here.

biphobia

Biphobia is fear, hatred, discomfort, or mistrust, specifically of people who are bisexual.

bullying

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.

If you, or someone you know, has been affected by bullying, you can get support here.

C

catfishing

Catfishing is the practice of pretending on social media to be someone different, in order to trick or attract another person

For more information about catfishing, click here.

child

The United Nations (UN) describe a child as those persons under the age of 14

For more information, click here.

child sexual exploitation (CSE)

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by child sexual exploitation, you can get support here.

child trafficking

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:

sexual exploitation,

benefit fraud,

forced marriage,

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 physicalsexual 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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by child trafficking, you can get support here.

county lines

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’.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by county lines, you can get support here.

criminal exploitation

Criminal exploitation is child abuse where children and young people are manipulated and coerced into committing crimes.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by criminal exploitation, you can get support here.

cyberbullying

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by cyberbullying, you can get support here.

D

domestic abuse

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by domestic abuse, you can get support here.

E

emotional abuse

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.

Emotional abuse is often a part of other kinds of abuse, which means it can be difficult to spot the signs or tell the difference, though it can also happen on its own.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by emotional abuse, you can get support here.

Extremism

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by extremism, you can get support here.

F

female genital mutilation (FGM)

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by female genital mutilation, you can get support here.

G

Gambling

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by gambling, you can get support here.

grooming

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.

Children and young people who are groomed can be sexually abusedexploited or trafficked.

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by grooming, you can get support here.

H

harrassment

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

physical gestures

facial expressions

jokes

You don’t need to have previously objected to something for it to be unwanted.

If you, or someone you know, has been affected by harassment, you can get support here.

hate crime

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.

If you, or someone you know, has been affected by hate crime, you can get support here.

homophobia…

Homophobia is the fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

I

identity theft

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.

If you, or someone you know, has been affected by identity theft, you can get support here.

L

Legislation…

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+…

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.

Local Offer…

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.

You can find more information about the Local Offer in Sandwell here.

Looked After Young Person…

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.

M

Mental Health…

Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave.

For more information about mental health, click here.

Modern Slavery

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by modern slavery, you can get support here.

N

neglect

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by neglect, you can get support here.

non-recent abuse

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by non-recent abuse, you can get support here.

O

online abuse

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:

social media,

text messages and messaging apps,

emails,

online chats,

online gaming,

live-streaming sites.

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by online abuse, you can get support here.

P

phishing

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by phishing, you can get support here.

physical abuse

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,

kicking,

shaking,

throwing,

poisoning,

burning and scalding,

biting and scratching,

breaking bones,

drowning.

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by physical abuse, you can get support here.

R

Racism

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by racism, you can get support here.

Radicalisation

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by radicalisation, you can get support here.

S

Safeguarding

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.

If you, or someone you know has a worry about safeguarding, you can talk to someone here.

SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities)

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

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.

Sexting includes:

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

If you, or someone you know has been affected by sexting, you can get support here.

sexual abuse

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse, you can get support here.

substance misuse

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by substance misuse, you can get support here.

T

Transgender

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.

For more information, click here.

Transphobia…

Transphobia is fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are transgender, genderqueer, or don’t follow traditional gender norms.

Trolling

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.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by trolling, you can get support here.

Trusted Adult

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.

W

Wellbeing

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.

For more information, click here.

Y

Youth

The United Nations (UN) describes youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years

For more information, click here.

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