National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day – Think, spot and speak out against child abuse

National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day – Think, spot and speak out against child abuse

Tash Bright No Comment

Say something if you see something #CSEDAY19

It’s National Child Sexual Exploitation Day (CSE) on Monday 18th March to encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse.  

Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

Research by the NSPCC has identified that 1 in 20 children have been sexually abused, 90 per cent of them by someone they knew. However, of the 43,000 children in England who are subject to a child protection plan at any given time, only around 5% are on a plan for sexual abuse. (NSPCC 2014)

Help spot the signs

CSE is hard to spot but often manifests as part of wider forms of exploitation. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable if they have an unstable home environment, have recently experienced bereavement / loss, have difficulties socialising, live in poverty, are homeless, missing or have physical or learning disabilities. These are just some of the situations where children and young people become vulnerable.

Speaking on the subject Jane Fidler, Sexual Exploitation Service manager at Sheffield Futures comments, ‘It can be really hard to spot the signs of sexual exploitation but some of the warning signs can be things like children and young people suddenly acquiring money, clothes or other items without a plausible explanation, exclusion or lack of attendance at school/work, gang association or sudden isolation from their usual friends and relationships with controlling or significantly older adults.’

‘Leaving home or care without explanation and going missing or persistently returning late can also signal a problem, along with excessive texts or phone calls, returning home under the influence of drugs or alcohol, excessive use of social media / the internet or any other significant change in usual behaviour.’

‘The warning signs are very varied and can be easy to pass off as adolescent behaviour but it’s important to stop, think and act if you think a child or young person you know is showing these warning signs. It’s all of our responsibility to protect the children and young people in our communities.’ Jane continues.

Help is here waiting

If you think you might need help or are worried about a child or young person in Sheffield you can call the Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service at Sheffield Futures.

The Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service aims to prevent sexual exploitation, protect children and young people and offer support throughout Sheffield. The confidential service is made up of youth workers, CSE specialists, healthcare professionals, social care, parent support workers, police and specialist trainers.

Help is here waiting for you so call us on 0114 201 8645 oremail sses@sheffieldfutures.org.uk in the strictest of confidence.

Rosheen, 16, from an abusive family background was also under threat of enforced marriage which resulted in her going missing and being found with a known perpetrator of sexual exploitation in the town centre.

As Rosheen was at threat from her own family a forced marriage protection order was put in place and she was moved into supported accommodation however was no longer in education. She was regularly smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol and had lots of drugs debt as a result.

A Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service worker at Sheffield Futures supported Rosheen through the difficult journey back to a safe path in life and comments ‘I worked with Rosheen to support her with employment and training, attended meetings and appointments with her, talked about her wellbeing/mental health/grooming/coercion and control and shared legal information with her.’

‘Rosheen now has a stable, age-appropriate boyfriend, remains in supported accommodation, has stopped using drugs/alcohol and is starting a new job as a carer and is looking to go back into education. Rosheen is building bridges with her family and thinking about her religious beliefs in a positive way – she feels in control. All her debts have been paid off and her mental health has significantly improved.’

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.