Abuse and Neglect Information

The College has developed a number of key sections to provide information, guidance and links on a number of forms of abuse and neglect and the reporting of such issues.

People should not be subject to such abuse and if you tell us we will support you.


If the behaviour/actions of others causes you concern, raise it with your tutor/training consultant (or any member of staff). You can report any issue by using the Report a Concern Form which will be sent to the Safeguarding Team.

Certain cases of abuse/neglect should/must be reported to the appropriate authority and we will support any learner to make such are report if you notify us. However you do not have to come via the College to make such reports.  

The following sections look at key areas of abuse and provides more information.  You can report any concerns to the College.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse means deliberately causing injury to someone. It refers to non-accidental injuries, e.g. involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Physical abuse - guide for parents

Physical abuse - guide for learners


Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of someone that causes severe and persistent adverse effects on their development.  It includes bullying, intimidating and belittling someone or making them feel inadequate and worthless.  This often goes alongside other types of abuse.

Emotional abuse - guide for parents

Emotional abuse - guide for learners


You can report any issue by using the Report a Concern Form which will be sent to the Safeguarding Team.

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a learner or young person to take part in sexual activity. Sexual abuse is perpetrated by men and women and can happen anywhere. There doesn't need to be violence for it to be classed as sexual abuse and the learner may not even be aware of what has happened or what is happening.

The activities may include physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non- penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.

Sexual abuse may also include non-contact activities, such as involving the learner in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging the learner to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a learner in preparation for abuse.


Sexual consent

Sexual consent is, by law, where someone agrees by choice to that sexual activity and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Someone may not have the freedom and capacity to consent if they are scared for their life or safety or for the life or safety of someone they care about, or if they are asleep or unconscious or incapacitated through alcohol or drugs. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs.

Sexual activity without consent is rape or sexual assault and is a crime.

Anyone affected by these forms of violence and abuse should contact the Police immediately.


Sexual abuse - guide for parents

Sexual abuse - guide for learners

The College will support any individual of sexual abuse and you should notify any member of College Staff and/or complete the information on the Report a Concern Form.


There has been a growing awareness of the prevalence of Gender Based Violence, Sexual Abuse and Harassment which has been widely highlighted as a growing problem    It is important that all students at Derwentside College feel safe and secure while at college.  No one should feel uncomfortable or intimidated or threaten. To this end we have zero tolerance to any sexual harassment or abuse.  We encourage anyone receiving, witnessing or being aware of any such abuse to please report it through any of the channels available.  It is vital that any abuse is reported so we can address it and ensure it does not continue and no other students are exposed to it.

Please report it to a member of staff, or the Safeguarding Team.  You can also text 07984 404 691 or email noexcuseforabuse@derwentside.ac.uk  It is totally confidential and you can remain anonymous if you prefer.

Young people are capable of abusing other young people.  This is referred to as peer on peer abuse.  This can include (but is not limited to) bullying (including cyberbullying); sexual violence and sexual harassment as well as physical abuse and malicious communications.

You can report any issue by using the Report a Concern Form which will be sent to the Safeguarding Team.

Sexual Abuse by Young People

Sexual peer on peer abuse (Sexual Abuse by Young People) could refer to a range of actions, including indecent exposure, obscene telephone calls, fetishism or bestiality. The abuse may be perpetrated against peers or other learners.

The abuse may also include online sexual harassment. This can be standalone or part of a wider pattern of harassment and/or sexual violence. It may include:

  • Non-consensual sharing of sexual images and videos
  • Sexualised online bullying
  • Unwanted sexual comments and messages. including on social media
  • Sexual exploitation, coercion and threats

Bullying and Cyber Bullying

Bullying can be direct (either physical or emotional) or non-direct (via online platforms). The Department of Health defines it as 'behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally'. Bullying can happen anywhere, including online via social networks and mobile phones. Online bullying is insidious, as it can happen at anytime, day and night.

Bullying includes:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Physical assaults. such as hitting and pushing
  • Emotional abuse, for example, intimidating or humiliating someone by spreading rumours
  • Isolating a learner from others
  • Making silent calls
  • Controlling or manipulating a learner
  • Racial, sexual or homophobic taunting


Bullying - guide for parents

Bullying - guide for learners

Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of sexual abuse, although it can sometimes appear as if the activity is consensual.

CSE is when an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person (under the age of 18) into sexual activity.

This is done either:

  • In exchange for something the victim needs or wants
  • For the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator

It can be done through physical assault or through the use of technology.


Child sexual exploitation - guide for parents

Child sexual exploitation - guide for learners


If you suspect anyone of being groomed or subject to sexual exploitation you must report this to the College or Police. You can report a concern to the College by using the Report a Concern Form.

Self-harm and self-neglect are signs that something is wrong in that young person's life. For example, they may be suffering from another type of abuse, they may be depressed or they may simply not be coping.

Deliberate self-harm is used to describe a range of things that people do to themselves in a deliberate and usually hidden way. It can involve:

  • Cutting
  • Burning
  • Scalding
  • Banging or scratching one's own body
  • Breaking bones
  • Hair pulling
  • Swallowing poisonous substances or objects


Sell-harm - guide for parents

Self-harm - guide for learners


You can report a concern to the College by using the Report a Concern Form.

Female Genital Mutilation is a criminal offence involving intentionally altering or injuring the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

If you have a suspicion, or someone makes a disclosure to you connected with FGM, you must report it to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the police immediately. This is a mandatory duty.

You can report a concern to the College using the Report a Concern Form.


FGM - guide for parents

FGM - guide for learners

Modern slavery is a type of abuse that is normally associated with adults but it is equally relevant across all of the older age ranges and encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude.

Someone is in slavery if they are:

  • forced to work - through coercion, or mental or physical threat;
  • owned or controlled by an 'employer', through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;
  • dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property';
  • physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement.


You can report a concern to the College by using the Report a Concern Form.


Forms of modern slavery

Forced Labour

Any work or services which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form of punishment.

Debt bondage or bonded labour

The world's most widespread form of slavery, when people borrow money they cannot repay and are required to work to pay off the debt, then losing control over the conditions of both their employment and the debt.

Human trafficking

Involves transporting, recruiting or harbouring people for the purpose of exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion.

Descent-based slavery

Where people are born into slavery because their ancestors were captured and enslaved; they remain in slavery by descent.

Child slavery

Many people often confuse child slavery with child labour, but it is much worse. Whilst child labour is harmful for children and hinders their education and development, child slavery occurs when a child is exploited for someone else's gain. It can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.

Forced and early marriage

When someone is married against their will and cannot leave the marriage. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.

Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a young person’s basic needs and the most common form of child abuse. A young person 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.


Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including being excluded from home or being abandoned)
  • Protect a learner from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • Ensure adequate supervision
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
  • Respond to a learner's basic emotional needs


Everyone is encouraged to understand the key signs of neglect


Neglect - guide for parents

Neglect - guide for learners


The College will support any individual who is subject to neglect and you should notify any member of College Staff and/or complete the information on the Report a Concern Form.

Upskirting typically involves taking a picture under a person's clothing without them knowing, with the intention of obtaining sexual gratification or causing the victim humiliation, distress or alarm

From April 2019 Upskirting became a criminal offence with offenders facing up to 2 years in prison and risk being placed on the Sex Offenders register.

The College will support any individual of upskirting and you should notify any member of College Staff and/or complete the information on the 
Report a Concern Form.

Hate Crime (also known as bias-motivated crimes) occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership of a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, social status or political affiliation.

Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters (hate mail).


If you are victim of a hate crime or know of someone who is a victim you must report this to the College or Police.

You can report a concern to the College by using the Report a Concern Form.

It is important to understand that forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage. It is a human rights abuse and falls within the definition of domestic violence.

In a forced marriage, one or both people do not or cannot consent to the marriage (due to age or disability), duress has been used (e.g. threats. violence or constraints) and actions have been taken to coerce one or both of the people into the marriage.

Both men and women are at risk from forced marriage and it generally affects certain sectors of communities. Of the reported cases, involved girls aged 14 to 16 originating from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Forced marriage isn't limited to these countries, however, and those from the Middle East and some African countries also make up a high percentage of reported cases.

No matter the circumstances, you should never attempt to intervene directly. All concerns should go via the Designated Safeguarding Lead to the safeguarding unit or the police.

The family courts, local authority and other agencies might be involved in a response to help learners who are at risk of forced marriage.


Forced marriage - guide for learners

It is against the law to force someone into a marriage. You can report a concern to the College by using the Report a Concern Form.