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COULD THIS BE YOUR CHILD? CSE - KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS

Parents are being encouraged to look out for signs of grooming and sexual exploitation in their children’s behaviour in the latest phase of our awareness campaign launched this week.

Using the message ‘Could this be your child?’ it highlights key warning signs to help parents identify concerns and get help.

 

These include a child being secretive, moody, withdrawn, receiving unexplained gifts, skipping school, staying out late, changing their appearance and telling lies, along with signs of physical abuse.

 

The campaign will directly target parents through the digital platforms they use.

 

Using a mix of animations and banners it will be delivered through popular gaming, entertainment and mobile messaging apps, social media and online magazines.

 

It will also feature on a large digital roadside screen at the junction of the M6 and M5 and posters will feature at Birmingham’s New Street Station and at the NEC.

 

This is the latest phase of our See Me, Hear Me campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE).

 

It follows our successful summer digital campaign, ‘Do you know what your friend’s doing’ which targeted young people with messages to look out for signs of CSE among their friends.

 

For more information on knowing the warning signs visit our Parent page

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR FRIEND’S DOING?

Sexual exploitation can happen to young people of all backgrounds and from all communities, male or female. As a young person, it’s important to know what signs to look out for to keep you and your friends safe from harm.

The information below should help you spot sexual exploitation and make it easier for you to see the signs in your friends.

 

You can also watch the short animations below and share them with your friends.

 

WHAT IS CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION?

 

Sexual exploitation is a crime, it’s when someone forces you to do something sexual in return for some kind of payment, such as drugs, gifts or affection.

 

It may be someone you consider to be a boyfriend or girlfriend. It could be someone you’ve just met or a group of new friends you’re now hanging out with. It could also be someone you’ve met online.

 

THEY MAY:

  • force you to have sex with them or other people
  • make you do something sexual to them or other people
  • touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • show you sexual images or ask you to take sexual photos of yourself or share them online or by text
  • make you watch them do something sexual

 

IN RETURN THEY MAY:

  • buy you gifts or give you money
  • give you lots of attention and make you feel special
  • tell you they love you
  • take you out
  • give you drugs or alcohol
  • give you somewhere to stay
  • hurt or threaten  you or make you feel guilty or like you owe them something

 

SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN YOUR FRIEND:

  • changes in their behaviour  –they might become more confident and outgoing, or more shy and quiet
  • changes in their appearance –they may start dressing differently, or wearing lots of make up
  • having sexual relationships which worry you or which you think are not safe
  • spending time with new friends who may be older or seem to be ‘using’ your friend
  • an older boyfriend or girlfriend
  • staying out late, not going home or missing school
  • having new things without any explanation or which they say were gifts from a friend or boyfriend/ girlfriend. These may include mobile phones, clothes, jewellery or drugs

 

IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT SOMETHING THAT IS HAPPENING TO YOU OR ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS, YOU CAN SPEAK TO BARNARDO’S IN CONFIDENCE ON 0121 359 5333 OR CALL THE POLICE ON 101.

 

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