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About sexual abuse

We asked children how they first learned about sexual abuse. All of them said they’d heard about it through TV, newspapers, books, films and social media. Some children had also talked to their parents or received information at school about sexual abuse. That’s good!

Here are some things that are good to know:

  • You decide over your own body! You can always say no if someone wants to hug, kiss or touch you
  • It is a crime to force someone to have sex
  • You have the right to say no to sex even if you´ve had sex before with the person, or if you´re dating
  •     People over the age of 15 are not allowed to have sex with anyone who is younger than 15
  • No one has the right to take or distribute nude or sexual pictures of you if you are under the age of 18
  • No one is allowed to pay you for sex with money, items or services. In Sweden, it’s a crime to buy sex
  • It is good to speak out about sexual abuse or if someone harms you. If anyone tells you that you shouldn’t speak out, they are wrong!

It’s not obvious just by looking at someone

There are adults who sexually abuse children. It might be a parent, a relative, or someone else. But many of those who sexually abuse another person are under the age of 18. It might be a boyfriend, a girlfriend or a friend. It could also be a complete stranger. It’s not possible to tell who might commit sexual abuse just by looking at someone.

It is never your fault!

After a sexual assault, victims often feel that it’s their own fault and that they should have stopped it or fought back. But it’s never your fault if you become the victim of sexual abuse. It’s always the fault of the person who has inflicted harm on the other. Children who are victims of sexual abuse often appreciate hearing, both from adults and people their own age, that it’s not their fault. And the more times they hear it, the better.

If you or someone you know is a victim

You always have the right to speak out about what happened if you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse. You can talk to:

  •   A friend
  •   Mum or Dad
  •   A sibling
  •   A relative
  •   An adult friend of the family
  •   Teacher
  •   Youth recreation worker
  •   School nurse
  •   Skolkurator (a person who works at a school)
  •   Sports instructor
  •   Staff at the ungdomsmottagningen (a youth clinic where young people can go to find out more about the body, sex, contraception, relationships, anxiety, and other things).

You can get help and protection.

Call 112 if you discover sexual abuse that is happening right now or if someone is in danger.

Call 114 14 or go to the police station if you want to report a crime.

Do you or a friend need protection or support? Contact Socialtjänsten in your municipality. 

Link to the Rädda Barnen helpline

You can find more information here: (information in English and other languages) (information in English and other languages) (information in Swedish)

www.killfrå (information in Swedish) (information in English and other languages (Google translate))

You can get help here: (information in English)

Order broschures: (information in Swedish, broschure in English)