Posted: 16 March 2018

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 Telford and 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 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.

It's also why we have previously partnered with the production of the play Firebird at Trafalgar Studios in London. A hard-hitting play that brought 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 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.

And it's why we worked with Director Sam Miller Helms to create a film that exposes the brutal realities of CSE. Emily's story is a hard and confronting watch, but the fact is that children as young as 10 are being targeted for sexual exploitation in every type of community across the country. Please be aware, this content may upset some viewers.  

Working together to stop child sexual exploitation

We all have a role in stopping child sexual exploitation.

With 16,500 children at high risk of sexual exploitation in England, it’s important you know how to protect the children you love by recognising the signs and symptoms of exploitation.

find out more about cse

By Richard Crellin - Policy team
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