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Welcome to North Ayrshire’s Child Protection Committee...

Our aim is to provide children of all ages the answers to any worrying questions that they may have about life. Check out our online magazine here for a bunch of useful information about life as a teenager.

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I woke up in hospital......

Enjoy life don't live with strife

Sean’s story

Problem pages

and much more…

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Welcome to ‘Its my life…’

The contents of this magazine were originally created by a group of 'young people to help young people.' The magazine includes stuff that might be going on in your life or you may know someone who is experiencing something like that. We hope the information in this magazine will help your friends cope better with worries and hassies.

Always remember you are unique, wonderful and important on this planet. There will always someone out there who can help you with your problems. Someone who will have heard this stuff before from other young people and someone who will take steps to make sure that your life is what you want wo be.

We really want you to get involved and we have designed the site in a way that can be updated. If you want to get involved or send us a story or suggestions please mail us on

We hope you enjoy.

Win an IPOD NANO!!

To be in with a chance to win an Ipod Nano, just answer the question
below. Complete The titles of the following stories in the magazine:

I woke up in .................
He was ............. enough to be my dad
From boyfriend to ..............

Send your competition entry to with your name, age, school and a contact phone number. Or ask at your school office for an entry postcard and post this to us at: North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee, Bridgegate House, Bridgegate, Irvine, KA12 8BD

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I woke up in hospital...

It started about six months ago. A group of girls started picking on me. They would comment on the clothes I wear and my hairstyle. It was constant. I said that I would tell my guidance teacher but they said they would kill me if I grassed them up.

I tried a couple of times to make peace with them. I just wanted to get along with them so they would leave me alone. They would push, slap, spread rumours, spit, shout, chuck my jacket in the mud and take stuff off me. My mum would ask what had happened. I just said we were having a laugh that’s all.

To be honest I was scared to tell her the truth… I was scared how she and they would react and that things would get worse. It would look as if I was weak if I could not sort it out myself.

One day I decided to face up to them. They got the better of me pulling me down to the ground and punching and kicking me. Next thing I knew I woke up in hospital. My mum was there in tears and a nurse told me that the police wanted to speak to me. They questioned me about what had happened. The adults said that it had to stop and the only way to beat the bullies was to tell them what was going on. I realised they were right.

Here to help you 5
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I was scared about what would happen but everyone helped to make sure I was safe. The school were brill and my guidance teacher was really helpful and sent a clear message that bullying was not on. Some of the girls apologised to me saying that they went along with it so they would not be singled out.

Don’t stand for bullying… Stand up to it. for more info go to

Child Protection Committee 6
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Enjoy life, don’t live with strife

We now know that there are strong links between mind and body. So, if you look after your body, you will also be looking after your mind. This involves eating and sleeping well - making healthy choices and avoiding bad habits!

Be active – sometimes the last thing we feel like doing is exercising, but to get the benefit, all you have to do is aim for one stage more activity than your usual level. So, if you are a couch potato, aim to go for a gentle walk. If you already walk quite a bit, aim to get involved in an activity you enjoy like dancing or football.

Be sociable – make the effort to text or call a friend. Make arrangements to go out and meet others and don’t break these arrangements. It might feel too much effort at times but giving your relationships a bit of attention will greatly help your emotional health.

Be positive – pay more attention to the good things in life and less attention on the bad. Don’t let negative things mean more to you than positive things. Even on your worst day, you can still think about good memories and picture good things to come.

Child Protection Committee 8
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Be kind – do something nice for someone. You’ll be amazed how good this makes you feel. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself now and then. Sometimes we are our own worst critics – give yourself a break! Everyone makes mistakes – it’s how we learn from mistakes and move on that determine what kind of person we are, not how few mistakes we make in life.

Be fun – do something you enjoy. Anything counts. Laughing produces “feel good” hormones into our systems; these can also help to manage physical pain too!

Be realistic – accept that there are some things in life you can’t control and that sometimes you will feel down or upset.

Be self aware – learn how you react to things and how you best cope. Learn to understand how your body shows the early signs of stress and then take action quickly to manage the situation. Work out which coping mechanisms work best for you.

Here to help you 9
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Take the test…

It’s important also to spot signs that your friends might be struggling emotionally. Part of friendship is taking care of others and this also makes you feel well. Have you ever wondered what kind of friend you are? Take our quiz to see if you support the emotional health of your friends:

Your friend starts turning down invitations to go out with you and other friends. Do you:
  1. Stop inviting them out
  2. Get a group to go over and quiz them, asking “aren’t we good enough for you anymore?”
  3. Speak to them privately, saying you are happy to listen if they want to talk and keep the door open for invitations
Your friend becomes really moody and preoccupied. Today they started a big argument with you over something very small. Do you:
  1. Decide to stop the friendship altogether
  2. Talk about them behind their back and feel better when other people say they’ve been having the same issue with them
  3. Leave a cooling down period then text to say the friendship is important to you and you would like to help if anything is bothering them
Child Protection Committee 10
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Your friend looks warm but insists on wearing long sleeves all the time and you don’t like their new style. Do you:
  1. Tease them about their clothes and ask what they are trying to hide
  2. Buy them a new top for their birthday and say you’ll be really upset if they don’t wear it
  3. Worry they might be self harming by cutting their arms and try and broach the subject carefully when you are both alone and feeling close
Your friend tells you that they wish they were dead. Do you:
  1. Laugh and tell them you know that they don’t mean it
  2. Tell your other friends you think they have “lost it”
  3. Ask them sensitively why they are feeling that way and together agree how to get further help
Here to help you 11
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How did you do?

Mostly a’s – Sounds like you are not very tuned into your friends emotional well being and you are missing cues that they need your support. Try not to take everything personally and look beyond what has been said or done to see if it points to a worry about your friend.

Mostly b’s – Sounds like you are a bit nervous of getting too involved in your friend emotional well being. Try not to put pressure on your friend by using emotional blackmail or group dynamics to get your point across and respond on a genuine personal basis.

Mostly c’s – Sounds like you are a good friend who is tuned into others emotional well being and understands that changes in outward presentation often points to underlying worries. Keep on listening and make sure you know what other help is around to support your friend in feeling better.

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Sean’s story

When it was just us things were good...

It was alright man we were getting by coping and that. We were tight. My mum relied on me for a lot of things. I was the man about the house. That’s just the way it happened. I have just a distant memory of my own da. He left I mum says about a year after Tony was born. Dunno where he is don’t really care…

Ma maam from time to time did not keep well. It was pure pressure all the time. Sometimes things would slip like she forgot to wash our school clothes and slept in and that. I helped her and got quite good at working the washing machine, taking the wee man to nursery and cooking.

Things started to get bad when my mam met this guy, Gerry. At first he seemed alight and my maam was totally taken by him. She met him through Facebook a ‘friend of a friend’ she said. At first we did lots of stuff together and eventually he moved into the house. We were okay about it but as time when on things changed.

They would go out quite a lot. I missed out on stuff because I had to stay in and watch the wee man.

Things changed. Gerry started acting differently like he owned the place. One night he squared up to me and told me that he was in charge now. What he said went and he didnae want me interfering.

Child Protection Committee 14
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He was a bit of a drinker…. No just the weekends like but all the time. When he was short of cash he would be in aboot ma maams purse. One day my maam did not realise this and didn’t have any money to go the shopping. She blamed me and he stood there and didnae own up.

Gerry started bringing friends home. We did not really know who they were. They would use the house like a drinking den. Folk coming and going and carry oots getting brought into the house.

I tried to speak to my mum to get rid of him but she seemed to be stuck. It was as if she was scared to tell him to get out.

Arguments started.. I heard them when I was upstairs. They got frequent and Tony would come into my room when they were really going at it. He said he was fine but I know him and he was scared.

I knew that it came to blows a couple of times and sometimes I would try to get between them. One night they were arguing at the bottom of the stairs. I came out my room and stared shouting at them to stop. Gerry went mad and ran up the stairs… he threw me down the stairs and then dragged me into the front garden and continued shouting and kicking. The neighbours came out and phoned the police.

Here to help you 15
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Things took a turn then…. Social work visited and told us they would have to investigate what had happened. I thought we were all going to be taken aff our maam.The worker was tops and explained it was about keeping Tony, my maam and me safe…

We had meetings and a plan was made to keep us safe and make things better.

Sean’s Guide to the meetings :

The meetings are called ‘conferences’ Lots of folk attend, some you will know like your teacher , Tony’s teachers, the social worker etc. Some you don’t know but they have a part to play. They will let you know who they are and what they are doing there.

There is a person called the chair... They will make sure the meeting goes okay.. explain to you what’s going to happen and what are the important things you want them to talk about.

These meetings have a special focus because
they decide if your name should go on
something called the
Child Protection Register.

If that’s no confusing there are different types
of meeting.

Child Protection Committee 16
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Initial Child Protection Conference

This is the first meeting. Everyone who attend get the chance to speak. Even you if you want. they go over what has happened and other bits of information they have about you and the people involved. They decide on a plan to help reduce the thing that might cause harm to you and allow to you to the things that make you feel good and happy. At the end they decide if your name shouls go on the child protection register.

Core Groups

After the Initial meeting a core group is formed. These are the key player, your team who are going to work to protect you. Mine was my maam, my teacher and my social worker and their manager. We met every four weeks and spoke about the things that were working and the things that we needed to do to make sure things were better. Sometimes Tony came if he felt up for it.

Review Child Protection Conference :

After three months the core group members meet again with the big group to see how things have been going. Hopefully the risks will be getting smaller. They can take your name of the register and make plans for the future to make sure your all right.

Transfer Child Protection Conference

If you are on the child protection register and move somewhere else they have a transfer case conference. My maam thought about moving away cause Gerry kept hassling her. If we moved somewhere else they would have held this meeting in the place we moved to.

Here to help you 17
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Pre-birth Conference

This is for babies who huvnae even been born yet and folk are worried about what might happen. This could have happened to us if my maam was pregnant cause we were experiencing violence in the house. Other things can cause harm like if there is drugs or drinking. Your name cannae go on the register cause you’ve no arrived on earth yet.

Child Protection Register:

This is a private list of names that certain people can access. In a way it tells them that they need to pay extra care and attention to what they are doing.

Child Protection Committee 18
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Listen Louder

Sean and  his family experienced domestic abuse. From his story you can see how this affected him.  It is confusing when someone you love is being hurt, it is confusing and scary.

Domestic abuse can take many forms such as verbal abuse like name calling and put downs  or emotional abuse like playing mind games and trying to control you. Sometimes is takes a physical form – punching and kicking.

Ultimately these people want to control others.

It’s all about power.

If you think you or anyone you know is affected by domestic abuse contact:

Womens Aid on
01294 602424

Further info can be found on:

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Meet the folks whose job is to keep you from safe from harm

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Children and Families Social Worker

What is your job?

Listen to your answer

I ma a Social Worker in North Ayrshires children and families team.

What is your role in child protection?

Listen to your answer

I work with children, young people and their families to build on their strengths and reduce risks that may pose problems for them. I talk to others like teachers, school nurses etc. to discuss what is happening in children lives. We work together to try to stop these risks becoming something that would hurt or harm a child. At times I need to write a report so we can draw together a plan that will help keep the young person safe and be all they can be.

Child Protection Committee 20
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When you attend a meeting what is your role?

Listen to your answer

When I have written my assessment, based on information from different agencies, I talk about the things which are working to protect the young person and the things that could cause harm. I need to suggest things that we all could do to help the young person and their family. I am responsible for making sure the plan goes well.

Do you think children and young people should attend the meetings?

Listen to your answer

Getting the young person’s views of the situation is central to my job. I am required by law to take their views into account and any decision made has to be in their best interests. I can only do this by talking and discussing what is happening with them.

What is your role in child protection?

Listen to your answer

Why are there no painkillers in the jungle?

The parrots eat them all.

Here to help you 21
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Children and Families Team Manager

What is your job?

Listen to your answer

I ma a team manager in North Ayrshires Children and Families Team.

What is your role in child protection?

Listen to your answer

I am involved in deciding the best way to protect children and I work with others to ensure that they are safe. I do this by speaking with the Social Worker, reading their report and adding my own comments too.

What is your role in child protection?

Listen to your answer

I have read all the information and I am there to listen to the views of others, contribute ideas and make a plan that will keep children safe and decrease any risks they experience.

Child Protection Committee 22
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Do you think children and young people should attend the meetings?

Listen to your answer

Absolutely the meeting is about them and the law tells us that we need to get their views. That can be done by them being at the meeting but sometimes due to circumstances they can’t be there. We need to ensure in that case we know what their views are.

Say something funny…

Listen to your answer

Never trust an atom… they make everything up…

Here to help you 23
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What is your job?

Listen to your answer

I am a guidance teacher at in North Ayrshire.

What is your role in child protection?

Listen to your answer

There may be times when I need to share on information about students so that we can get them the help they need as quickly as possible from the right people.

Child Protection Committee 24
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When you attend a meeting what is your role?

Listen to your answer

I speak about the young person, what I know about them - their strengths as well as areas we need to work on together. I need to think about what we do in school so that the young person achieves their full potential. School can be a big protective factor in young people's lives.

Do you think children and young people should attend the meetings?

Listen to your answer

Sometimes this can be tough. There’s a lot of information and some of it might be challenging for a young person to hear. It is our job to support them to attend the meeting. They should be there as they need to be included and they have a right to be there.

Say something funny

Listen to your answer

What do you call two shoplifters?

A pair of knickers….

Here to help you 25
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Chair of Child Protection Meeting

What is your job?

Listen to your answer

I work as a Senior Officer for social services. Part of my job is making sure that the plans that are in place for children and young people are helping.

What is your role in child protection?

Listen to your answer

In child protection I listen to everyone’s views about how best to keep a child or young person safe and, along with the family and all other staff involved, I make decisions about whether or not the child or young person’s name should be placed on the child protection register.

When you attend a meeting what is your role?

Listen to your answer

I chair child protection conferences, making sure everyone discusses what the concerns are and how they will help the family. I check that everyone is doing what they should be doing and that things are getting better for the family.

Child Protection Committee 26
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Do you think children and young people should attend the meetings ?

Listen to your answer

Yes. When we make any decision we always take the child or young person’s view into consideration and it really helps us if children and young people can attend the meeting. If they don’t want to attend the meeting, we can speak to them before the meeting to make sure we understand what they want to happen at the meeting.

Say someting funny...

Listen to your answer

What do you call a deer with no eyes?

No idea.

What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs.

Still no idea.

Here to help you 27
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Health Worker

What is your job?

Listen to your answer

I am your health worker. Depending on your needs, I could be a school nurse, a therapist, a family nurse or a mental health worker.

What is your role in child protection?

Listen to your answer

My role is to work together with you, the social worker and the other adults to help keep you safe and well.

When you attend a meeting what is your role?

Listen to your answer

My role is to report any involvement I have had with you or your family and how that has worked or if I have had any difficulties working with you, for example not seeing you at appointments. I report on improvements and progress we have made together on my part of your care plan.

Child Protection Committee 28
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Do you think children and young people should attend the meetings ?

Listen to your answer

I think if you wish to attend your meetings you should be supported to do so. If you cannot attend for any reason you should make sure that your point of view is heard at the meeting.

Say someting funny...

Listen to your answer

Knock Knock

Whose there?


Bernadette who?

Bernard ate all my dinner and I am starving.

Here to help you 29
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Police Officer

What is your job?

Listen to your answer

I’m a detective sergeant in the Family Protection Unit in the Police. We investigate crimes against children.

What is your role in child protection?

Listen to your answer

Police and social services work closely together to investigate any child protection concerns. If a crime has been committed, we will try and gain evidence of this to help protect that child or young person and any others who might be at risk.

Child Protection Committee 30
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When you attend a meeting what is your role?

Listen to your answer

When I attend a meeting, I bring any information the Police might have about the family that would be useful to take into consideration when deciding how best to help children and young people.

Do you think children and young people should attend the meetings ?

Listen to your answer

Definitely. I think that if the meeting is about a child or young person, it is important for them to be there to take part in the meeting.

Say someting funny...

Listen to your answer

How did Darth Vader know what Luke Skywalker was getting for his Christmas?

He felt his presents….

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CPC Problem

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If you have a story you’d like to share, you can email us at

The CPC Team

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Your Problems...

Dear CPC Teens,

I live in a Children’s Unit basically I get bullied, I put lots of complaints in the ‘Tell Us’ suggestions box but nothing happens. Can you give me advice on what to do next, so that it doesn’t get worse?

Shona age 12

Dear Shona,

I am very sad to hear of your problem and I am disappointed to hear you are being bullied despite you letting people know what is going on in the Children’s Unit.

Try to speak to your key worker or social about what you are experiencing. It is really vital that the people who are looking after you know what is going on and, more importantly, how you are feeling.

You should not be on the receiving end of this behaviour and the the adults around you have a responsibility to make sure you feel safe at all times.

Here to help you 33
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Dear CPC Teens,

I hate where I stay because the people in the street shout stuff at as and throw stuff at our house and windows. My step dad tells my mum that she should sort it out.

When he drinks he goes out on the street and pulls people up but its me who needs to walk down the street and see some of these people in school.


Dear Emily,

I am sorry to hear that people are acting like that towards you and your family. It must be frightening and you must be quite anxious when you are out and about. People who behave like this are breaking the law and the best people to sort it out are the police.

It’s not your mums fault and it’s not your fault. To be honest your step dad probably only makes things worse.

Maybe you should speak to your parents and suggest that they contact the police or housing if this happens again. After all what you have tried so far has not worker so maybe time for something new.

f they don’t want to then you could ask another adult for help. Maybe there is another adult in your family who can help or a guidance teacher or youth worker.

All the best

Child Protection Committee 34
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Dear CPC Teens,

I think my family is okay but sometimes my mum drinks. One night she was totally out of it and someone called the police. They police and another lasy took my baby sister away. This is unfair cause I can look after her and I have done this for a good while.

Please can you help me find out how to get her back.

Ainsley 15

Dear Ainsley,

can understand why you think what has happened is unfair. But it is also not right that ou have had to take on the job of caring for your baby sister. If you had to look after her all the time it could mean you missing out on a lot of things like school, socialising, taking parts in clubs and sports.

The policeman and lady had to decide how your wee sisters can be kept safe and secure and she gets what she needs. While doing this they need to consider how your needs are best met and they may have decided that it was not an option to put the burden of looking after a baby on you.

If you have not had contact with your baby sister speak to an adult such as a social worker, teacher and ask them to see if it can be arranged for you to spend some time with her.

Hopefully your mum will take up the support that they are offering and your baby sister can return home.

Here to help you 35
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He was old enough to be my dad...

My name is Abbie and I am 15 here is my story.

I was on the internet. I chat to my mates through instant messenger and then I got an IM from this guy. He said he was the same age as me and he liked the same thing that I did. I started chatting to him. We spoke about the music we liked, gigs we had been to and what me and my mates got up to at the weekend.

As time went on me and Simon got to know each other really well. We chatted about stuff that worried us and concerned us and his advice was really sound. He became one of my best mates and I found that I was spending more time chatting to him online than being with my friends.

As time went on me and Simon got to know each other really well. We chatted about stuff that worried us and concerned us and his advice was really sound.

We started exchanging photos he was really good looking like Liam from 1D. I sent him some photos of me. He said that we should meet up and I told him he could come to my house and I would sort it out with my mum. He said no which made me wonder why. He stated that he wanted it to be just the two of us so we could have a good chat. He asked me to get on a train to meet him in Glasgow and arranged tickets.

Child Protection Committee 36
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It was two days before I was due to go and I told one of my friends about my big date. They told me that someone had spoken to them about something like that at Youth Club and people are not always who you think they are.

I told my mum about my planned trip and let Simon know that she would come with me to meet him. He went mad calling me all sorts. I got upset and told my mum who reported this.

It turns out that Simon was not a 15 year old, big 1D fan who could play all their stuff on guitar, he was stringing me along, he was a 44 year old married man from Sheffield.

I was lucky. You might not be.

Here to help you 37
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I will never
ever tell...

The news has been full of stories about people being abused. Some of these happened a long time ago. A question often asked is why did these people take so long to come forward? The answer is …. They just did. If you have experienced abuse it can cause you a lot of very strong and mixed up feelings. Some people bury these for a long… long time.

Other feelings that you can experience are anger, confusion, guilt, isolation, embarrassment and numbness. It changes from person to person and your experience may be quite complex. Someone may have threatened you or others that you know or you feel that no one will believe you.

Dealing with these feelings will often affect your behaviour. You may be getting into trouble or doing things you would not normally do. This might make it harder for others to help you as they might think you are pushing them away when really you want them to notice that you are struggling.

It’s really important that you get something straight in your head.

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Your Problems...

What happened was not your fault.

If you have been hurt by an adult or older person the responsibility is theirs, not yours. Some people are very good at blaming others and making others feel guilty for their actions. They are adults they are responsible for their own behaviour.

You are not alone.

Unfortunatlely abuse is more common than people think. Children and young people who have experienced abuse can sometimes feel that they are the only ones this has happened to and no one will understand or believe them. This is a common tactic. Adults who abuse children are very clever at manipulating them into believing these things.

This is not easy to handle.

Everyone finds it hard to cope with things that bring hurt and distress. You are the same. Other young people who have experienced abuse have struggled to cope. They experience eating disorders, self harm, not sleeping, nightmares, aggression and anxiety. Some of the coping behaviours can be quite harmful in their own way that is why it’s important to develop healthy ways of coping so that you don’t experience more hurt.

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You have the right to be safe and healthy...

All adults have a responsibility to keep children and young people safe. We know that it is very frightening to tell someone what is going on. You may have been threatened to keep quiet, you may be worried about what others will think or you may be worried about what will happen next. While we cannot magic away these fears we can show you that we understand and we will support you through this.

Tell someone... You deserve better.

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Jillian what do you do?

am the lead officer for child protection in North Ayrshire.

What is child protection?

Children and young people might be in need of protection from anything that has happened or likely to happen which may cause significant harm to them. Abuse or neglect may cause this. This the deliberate ill-treatment that will effect their safety, health wellbeing and development. There are different kinds of abuse that young people may experience. These are physical, sexual, emotional and neglect.

Tell me more about these…

Physical abuse is one this is things like being punched, kicked, bitten, burned or poisoned.

That’s terrible... Anything else...

Neglect is when someone does not look after your basic needs. Like feeding you, making sure you have someplace safe and warm to stay, being there for you and looking out for you.

Emotional abuse is when someone constantly criticises, ignores or puts you down so that you feel really bad about yourself.

Sexual abuse is when an adult or older person involves you in sexual activity. This includes them behaving in a sexual way towards you or getting you to behave in a sexual way toward them or someone else. It doesn’t only mean touching but can be things like getting you too look at indecent images or send an image of yourself to them.

Here to help you 41
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From boyfriend to bam...

At first my relationship with my boyfriend was everything that I wanted it to be. We were good friends, he gave me my own space and he respected and trusted me. We had such good fun together and he always listened to my views and what I had to say. In short it was perfect.


After a while he changed. He would get angry and did not treat me the same. There had been a big upset is his family. His brother died. I tried to help him through this but he was very angry and sometimes he really scared me. He would not let me see my friends and would check my Facebook and phone. He wanted to spend all the spare time we had with each other.

I did not know what to do. I did not want to be treated like this but I did not want to dump him alone cause of the mess he was in. One night I went to leave his house and he told me no, that I was staying there. I told him I couldn’t and he started shouting., He grabbed me by the throat and pushed me against the wall. I hit my head and got really upset. He let go of me, apologising, asking me not to tell anyone.

But that was that… no one and I mean no one should treat you like that. I never went back. I decided I was better out of a ‘relationship’ like that.

I feel happier now. I want to be in a relationship with someone who respects me and not someone who thinks they can treat me how they want. If you find yourself trapped in this kind of relationship then you can get help. Here is a wee website that may help.

Child Protection Committee 42
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Your body is your body and you have the right to decide what you think is okay and is not okay. You set the limits not others. Sometimes people will touch your body. This may be to express their friendship, love and care fro you.

Some touching however crosses a line.

It is not OK

 - For anyone to touch your body if you do not want them to
 - For someone to make you touch their body if you do not want to
 - For someone in your family to touch you in a sexy way
 - For adults to touch a child in a sexy way
 - For people to be sexy in front of you.

It is also not OK

 - For an adult or someone older to show you pictures or photos from DVDs,mobile phones, computers or magazines that show private body parts or people having sex.
 - For an adult to take or encourage you to pose for sexy photos or videos.
 - For an adult to encourage you to take part in behaviour that is sexual.

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Top Tips

 - Listen carefully to what your body tells you about being touched.
 - Your body gives you warning feelings telling you that you might need help.
 - If someone touches your body in a way that makes you feel scared, angry, sad or confused:

   - Tell them NO. They have crossed a line.
   - Get out of that situation.
   - Speak to someone about this adult.

 - You have a right to be safe.
 - Your body belongs to you.
 - No one can touch any part of your body in a way that makes you feel scared, angry, sad or confused. This includes your private parts.
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True or False?

Sexual abuse doesn't happen that often?
False: Unfortunately child sexual abuse is more common than most people think. It's hard to know exactly how common it is because most people don't tell if it is happening to them but some research has shown that up to one in four people could be affected by child sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse usually only happens in certain kinds of families?
False: Sexual abuse can, and does, happen in any kind of family. Some families are able to hide the abuse amongst themselves which means its more difficult for the young person to tell.

When children are sexually abused it is usually by someone they know?
True: Most children are sexually abused by someone they know and trust, often a family member or close family friend. It is because these adults are trusted by the family that they get close enough to the child to hurt them.

You can't tell if someone is a sexual abuser?
True: Sexual abusers are very clever at pretending to be honest, trustworthy people that wouldn't hurt anyone. It is impossible to tell from looking at someone whether they might be a risk to children.

Sexual abuse happens because the person is drunk or taking drugs and they don't really know what they are doing?
False: People who sexually abuse children know exactly what they are doing and they know that it is wrong. That is why they go to such lengths to keep it secret. If they use alcohol or drugs they only do this to lessen any guilt they might feel.

f you are sexually abused as a child you will grow up to sexually abuse children?
False: Most children who are sexually abused never go on to abuse children

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Self Harm and Suicide

If you have experienced, or are experiencing, abuse and neglect, you may develop ways of coping with the impact of this which causes you further harm. One of the most common types of behaviour that develop in these kinds of circumstances is self- harm behaviour.

Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body (deliberately hurts themselves). It is a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress.

There are many different ways people can intentionally harm themselves, such as:

 - cutting or burning their skin
 - punching themselves or hitting themselves off walls
 - scratching or hair pulling
 - poisoning themselves with tablets

There may also be other risk taking behaviours associated with self-harm such as:

 - misusing alcohol or drugs
 - deliberately starving themselves (anorexia nervosa) or binge eating (bulimia nervosa) – otherwise known as eating disorders

Sometimes people who self-harm don’t know why they behave like this, but most people who self-harm do this in order to cope with something they have been through. Self-harm can provide temporary relief but does not deal with the underlying causes of distress.

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If you, or someone you know, is self-harming, you should see your GP for help. You can also call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 for support or visit these websites: Mind or Young Minds

North Ayrshire Self-Harm Service (Penumbra) 01294 471 934

If you want to find out a bit more about eating disorders specifically, visit this website:

B-eat. They also have a young person’s helpline: 0845 6347650.

If you, or someone you know, is behaving in any of these ways, the most important thing to recognise is that these behaviours are a response to abuse and neglect and it is important to find other ways of coping with what has happened so that no further harm comes to the young person. Self harm does not automatically mean someone wants to kill themselves .

However,for some people, no matter what they try, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness continue to build up and up until it can seem as though life is not worth living anymore. Someone who feels like this is at risk of suicide – of deliberately ending their own life.

A person may be at high risk of attempting suicide if they:

 - threaten to hurt or kill themselves
 - talk or write about death, dying or suicide
 - actively look for ways to kill themselves, such as stockpiling tablets

Although many people also show other types of changes in behaviour which might make you concerned about them.

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If you are worried that someone you know may be considering suicide, try to encourage them to talk about how they are feeling. Don’t be afraid to ask directly and tell them why you are concerned. Listening is the best way to help. Try to avoid offering solutions and try not to judge.

f you are feeling suicidal, there are people you can talk to who want to help:

 - speak to a friend, family member or someone you trust as they may be able to help you calm down and find some breathing space
 - call the Samaritans 24-hour support service on 08457 90 90 90
 - call Childline 08001111
 - go to, or call, your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department and tell the staff how you are feeling
 - contact NHS 111
 - make an urgent appointment to see your GP

Most people who have thought about suicide, later say that telling someone how they felt and getting help was the best thing they ever did. Don’t leave it until it’s too late – talk to someone now.
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Below is a list of useful
contacts if you have any
questions or worries
Young People can find out all the latest goings on in their local area or across North Ayrshire i.e.. Helpful Contacts, News, What's On, SKOOL BUZZ, Discounts etc.
Guide to internet safety and safe surfing for young people from Think U Know. Learn about online safety when using blogs, chatting, online gaming, etc.

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Bullying advice, helpline, information, anti-bullying resources and training.
Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People is responsible for ensuring that the rights and quality of life for children is delivered.
It's not just adults who are affected by domestic abuse. Children and young people can experience the abuse of their mothers, and can also be abused themselves.
Anyone is despair!
About birth control, pregnancy & relationships. (Young people only)
Helping young people, their parents and professionals work with and understand laws which affect children.
Bullying UK - Help and advice for victims of bullying their parents and school.
The rights of children and young people who are homeless.
Support young people who may be at risk of suicide and those who live or work.

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Pick Up The Phone

ChildLine Scotland - 0800 1111

Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0800 027 1234

Kilbirnie Social Services - 01505 684551

Irvine Social Services - 01294 324800

Ardrossan Social Services - 01294 468213

Arran Social Services - 01770 600742

Police Scotland - 101

Ayrshire out of hours - 0800 328 7758


North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee would like to thank all the young people who helped research and develop this website.

The hard work, thoughts and creativity has been commendable.

Special thanks also go to CHILDREN 1st and Caley Youth Centre staff for support and expertise they have contributed.

Last of all we thank all young people in North Ayrshire for inspiring us and driving us to do our best for them.

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Thanks for reading

North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee is a partnership between North Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire & Arran. Police Scotland, Scottish Children Reporters Administration, Procurator Fiscal and the Voluntary Sector.

All partners work closely together to ensure that children and young people in North Ayrshire are protected and have their needs met.

If you would like more information about the Child Protection Committee you can:

visit -

email -

Call us on - 01294 310444

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