Child sexual exploitation awareness campaign launched
Date Added: 16/03/2015
Central Bedfordshire Council is launching an awareness campaign next week to make children and their parents alert to the signs of child sexual exploitation.
The Children’s Services Access and Referral Hub is launching a series of leaflets on 18 March explaining what child sexual exploitation is, signs that someone may be a victim, how it happens and what to do about it.
There are three separate leaflets aimed at potential victims, young people and parents and carers, with clear advice and guidance about what to do and who to contact.
The launch takes place to coincide with National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, where people are encouraged to think, spot and speak out about abuse.
Sue Harrison, Director of Children’s Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Child sexual exploitation involves under-18s being coerced into sexual activity.
“It can take many different forms, for example youngsters being given anything from drugs and alcohol to gifts such as mobile phones to win their trust, before the adults start to demand something in return.
“Sometimes the signs can be difficult to spot, which is why we are launching these leaflets to make people more aware of them.
“If we are to prevent children from being exploited in this way then it’s important that we all work together.”
The leaflets include signs that someone may be a victim of exploitation, such as the fact they are secretive about where they go and who they see, that they are losing touch with friends and that they are missing school or staying out unannounced overnight.
There is also an explanation about how it happens and advice to the different groups about who to contact if they are worried that they, or someone else, is the victim of child sexual exploitation.
The leaflets complement both the national campaign and also the work being done by Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.
For more information about child sexual exploitation, visit www.centralbedfordshirelscb.org.uk/lscb-website/professionals/child-sexual-exploitation
If you are worried about a child or young person call the Children’s Services Access and Referral Hub on 0300 300 8585.