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Getting help for abuse, bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, relationship violence, and sexual exploitation

You have the right to be protected—and to be safe from violence. No one has a right to harm you, to make you feel small or stupid, or to touch you how and where you don't want to be touched. Not even people close to you.

If abuse, bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, relationship violence or sexual exploitation are happening to you or a friend, or if you are afraid or hurting, please ask for help.

To get help for yourself

  • Tell an adult you trust, like a school counselor, your parent or a friend's parent, your teacher or coach, your doctor, a spiritual leader or your uncle or aunt. If they don’t take you seriously, try again. Keep telling until you get the help you need.
  • In an emergency, if you need help right away, call 9-1-1.
  • Contact the Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or go to the Kids Help Phone website. Kids Help Phone is a free, anonymous, and confidential phone and web counselling service.
  • Call your local crisis line.
  • Keep telling until you get help—and remember: this is not your fault!

How to help a friend

  • Listen to what your friend tells you—try to stay calm and do not react with shock.
  • Affirm your friend that it took a lot of courage for them to talk about this.
  • Tell them that it is NOT their fault and that you are sorry it happened to them.
  • Do not promise to keep the abuse a secret—by law you can’t make that promise. 
  • Discuss ways to help your friend and let your friend know you are going to find an adult who can help.
  • Encourage your friend it is important to talk with an adult he/she trusts and that physical and sexual abuse (child abuse) and also physical and sexual assault and stalking (relationship violence) are criminal offences.
  • Tell an adult.
  • Recognize and acknowledge your own feelings.
  • Take care of yourself.

Getting help for sexual exploitation online

  • If anyone sends you pictures of sex, or talks to you about sex or anything else inappropriate, or tries to get information about you: BLOCK IT, SAVE IT and REPORT IT to or phone 1-866-658-9022. You don’t even have to know who they are! Leave it to the experts to investigate.
  • If your friend is planning to meet someone in person that they met online, they could be in danger. Tell a trusted adult—it’s not tattling when you are trying to protect them!