Key mes­sages for CSE Aware­ness Week

  • Child Sex­ual Exploita­tion is a crime that can affect any child, any­time, any­where – regard­less of their social or eth­nic background.
  • It involves offend­ers groom­ing young­sters and using their power to sex­u­ally abuse them. It can take many forms, whether it occurs through a seem­ingly ‘con­sen­sual’ rela­tion­ship with an older boyfriend, or a young per­son hav­ing sex in return for atten­tion, gifts, alco­hol or cigarettes.
  • Sex­ual exploita­tion is child abuse and, although they may not realise it, it puts the young vic­tim at huge risk of dam­age to their phys­i­cal, emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal health.
  • Many young peo­ple who are being abused do not realise they are at risk and will not call for help. They may see them­selves as will­ing par­tic­i­pants when in fact their behav­iour is any­thing but consenting.
  • And, while there is no stereo­typ­i­cal vic­tim of exploita­tion, there are warn­ing signs in children’s behav­iour that may indi­cate some­thing is wrong – and if you know what you’re look­ing for, you can take steps to help them.

What are the signs you need to know?

  • Has the young per­son received unex­plained gifts or money?
  • Do they use their mobile phone secretively?
  • Do they have sig­nif­i­cantly older friends?
  • Have they been picked up from home or school by some­one you don’t know?
  • Are they asso­ci­at­ing with other young peo­ple who are already known to be vul­ner­a­ble or involved in exploitation?
  • Have they started play­ing tru­ant from school or reg­u­larly going miss­ing from home?
  • Have they suf­fered from a sexually-transmitted infection?
  • Are they self-harming?
  • Has their appear­ance changed?

And what makes a child more at risk?

  • If they come from a chaotic or dys­func­tional household
  • A lack of friends in the same age group
  • Con­fused about their sexuality
  • His­tory of domes­tic abuse or neglect
  • Learn­ing disabilities
  • Have come into con­tact with other exploited young­sters, e.g at school
  • Have suf­fered a recent bereave­ment or loss
  • Are home­less or liv­ing in res­i­den­tial care, a hos­tel or bed and breakfast
  • Have low self-esteem or confidence
  • Young carer
  • Live in a gang neighbourhood

Key mes­sages about offenders

  • Offend­ers come from many dif­fer­ent social and eth­nic back­grounds but they all have one thing in com­mon. They are abus­ing young peo­ple and are using their sta­tus or posi­tion to exploit vul­ner­a­ble victims.
  • We recog­nise that in some areas the num­ber of Asian offend­ers is dis­pro­por­tion­ate to the pop­u­la­tion and far from ignor­ing this, have been tack­ling the issue head on by work­ing with the local com­mu­ni­ties, giv­ing pre­sen­ta­tions to com­mu­nity forums and vis­it­ing mosques to raise awareness.
  • We will con­tinue to tar­get, warn and pros­e­cute offend­ers to hit home the mes­sage that this type of behav­iour is not just unac­cept­able, it is crim­i­nal, and we will pur­sue those peo­ple involved and bring them to jus­tice, irre­spec­tive of their backgrounds.
  • If you are con­cerned about a young per­son you know, call Lan­cashire Police on 101 or (insert local details). In an emer­gency, always dial 999. You can also visit www.lancashire.police.uk/cse for lots more information.
  • A new web­site for young peo­ple will also be launched in Sep­tem­ber so please encour­age as many as pos­si­ble to visit www.trusted2know.co.uk where they can get help and advice on a range of sub­jects, includ­ing this one.

Down­loads

Please find below CSE Aware­ness Week materials: