Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day 2017
Havering Council is supporting Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day on Saturday 18 March.
One of the concerning methods of CSE is peer-on-peer exploitation, this is when young people are sexually exploited by peers who they know at school, their friends or in their community. This can lead to sexual bullying, the expectation that a young person performs sexual acts for peer groups in exchange for gifts, money, alcohol or protection.
Another concern is inappropriate relationships when young people have boyfriends or girlfriends that are much older. There may be concerns that a child is too young to understand the “relationship”, and where power, control, violence and coercion are factors.
Councillor Robert Benham, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, said:
“A young person may not even realise that they are being exploited, but through their peers, older boyfriend or girlfriend they are being persuaded to post inappropriate images of themselves or engage in sexual acts.
“Parents and carers must be aware that social media including Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp must be supervised, and young people helped to use these safely. They must understand that any images they place on websites could be circulated without their consent to people they don’t know.”
The Council is urging residents to get to know the signs that CSE is taking place such as:
- changes in behaviour and/or appearance
- unexplained gifts
- missing from school or home
- breakdown of relationships with friends and family
- use of drugs or alcohol
- signs of physical harm (self-harm, unexplained bruising, pregnancies, STI’s)
- involvement in gangs/youth violence
For more information about CSE visit http://www.stop-cse.org/national-child-exploitation-awareness-day/raise-awareness/
If you have a concern about yourself or a young person please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01708 433 222 for help and support.