Posted: 18 March 2016

Protecting children from sexual exploitation is everyone’s business

Almost every day there are stories appearing in national and local newspapers about the horrible crimes of child sexual exploitation. Some of them focus on horrendous cases, like in Rotherham,  where vulnerable children are groomed and exploited over a period of time by groups and gangs who believe  that they can get away with that.

Others raise the issue of how widespread the grooming and targeting of young people for sexual abuse may be. These cases expose the variety of  methods used to coerce young people into sexual exploitation. From targeting individual children on social media to organising ‘parties’ where children are supplied with alcohol and drugs and coerced into sexual relationships.

The underlying message from these reports is that child sexual exploitation is a complex issue and any child can be targeted.

To combat this horrible crime, to prevent and  disrupt sexual exploitation as early as possible there  needs  to be  greater awareness among local communities, professionals, parents and children and young people themselves of the signs that a child may be in danger.

National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day 

The Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day aims to achieve this. That is why we at The Children’s Society support this day and do a lot of work throughout our projects, policy and research all year round to help keep children safe from exploitation.

That’s why we have partnered with the production of the play Firebird currently being performed at Trafalgar Studios in London. This hard-hitting play brings the harsh reality of CSE to life on stage.

It’s why in Manchester we work with Unity Radio to enable young people to talk about issues like CSE live on air through the station’s brilliant NGY Show.

It is also why we produced our policy report ‘Old enough to know better?’ to highlight how older teenagers are being targeted for sexual abuse but are not offered  enough  protection in the law.

Working together 

We all need to work together to make sure that everyone is aware of child sexual exploitation and how to keep children safe.

So, please, join your voice with ours – join our campaign and help us raise awareness of the need to keep children safe from sexual exploitation.

Join us

By Richard Crellin - Policy team

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