Posted: 25 October 2018

Understanding the signs of child sexual exploitation

With 16,500 children at high risk of child sexual exploitation in England, it's important we are able to recognise the signs and symptoms.

It's not always easy to know what to look for but our quiz introduces you to some of the language surrounding child sexual exploitation and gives you advice on what to do if you're worried by something you hear.

Quiz: Should you be worried?

Would you be worried if a child said...

1: 'I've made a new friend online. He's really funny, we chat all the time. He just randomly added me.'


Yes, you should be worried.

You should talk to children about the dangers of adding unknown “friends” to their social media accounts.

This stranger could be lying about the information on their profile and using it to manipulate vulnerable young people online.

Make sure that children are not lying about their age when signing up to social media accounts.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a child said...

No, you should be worried

You should talk to children about the dangers of adding unknown “friends” to their social media accounts.

This stranger could be lying about the information on their profile and using it to manipulate vulnerable young people online.

Make sure that children are not lying about their age when signing up to social media accounts.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a child said...

2: 'Do you like my new trainers? My boyfriend bought them for me'.


Yes, this could be a reason to be worried.

Possessing items that a family member hasn’t given a child and that they couldn’t afford themselves could be an indication that a child is being groomed.

Make sure you know who this new boyfriend is, why they gave the present, and ask yourself if it's appropriate to be in a relationship at their age.

If you are concerned about a child’s welfare, please contact your local council’s social care department or find their number in the phonebook.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a parent said...

No, this could be a reason to be worried.

Possessing items that a family member hasn’t given a child and that they couldn’t afford themselves could be an indication that a child is being groomed.

Make sure you know who this new boyfriend is, why they gave the present, and ask yourself if it's appropriate to be in a relationship at their age.

If you are concerned about a child’s welfare, please contact your local council’s social care department or find their number in the phonebook.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a parent said...

3: 'My daughter hasn't been hanging out with her friends recently'.


No, there's no need to worry but keep an eye out.

It’s completely normal for children to fall out with their friends.

If they are engaging less with their usual friends, try to find out why and see if there are any underlying issues which could cause them to distance themselves.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a child said...

Exactly, there's no need to worry but keep an eye out.

It’s completely normal for children to fall out with their friends.

If they are engaging less with their usual friends, try to find out why and see if there are any underlying issues which could cause them to distance themselves.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a child said...

4: 'He asked me for a cute picture, so I sent him a few selfies'


Yes, you should be worried.

Pictures that are shared online can be used by perpetrators to threaten and manipulate children.

Talk to children so that they understand the risk of losing control over where their information might end up if they share their personal details online.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a child said...

Incorrect, you should be worried.

Pictures that are shared online can be used by perpetrators to threaten and manipulate children.

Talk to children so that they understand the risk of losing control over where their information might end up if they share their personal details online.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a child said...

5: 'My mate at school got really angry with me today for no apparent reason'


No, you shouldn't be worried but keep an eye out.

Mood swings are common for all young people to experience.

However, becoming emotionally volatile and behaving strongly out of character could be an indication of something more serious.

Check in with the young person and ask questions to make sure if everything is OK and if the friend's episodes are ongoing.

If this behaviour is still the same or getting worse, you should alert the school about your concerns.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a parent said...

Correct, it's probably fine.

Mood swings are common for all young people to experience.

However, becoming emotionally volatile and behaving strongly out of character could be an indication of something more serious.

Check in with the young person and ask questions to make sure if everything is OK and if the friend's episodes are ongoing.

If this behaviour is still the same or getting worse, you should alert the school about your concerns.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a parent said...

6: 'Katy said she was going out last night. She wouldn't tell me where she was going or who she was with, and didn't come home until 2am'


Yes, you should be worried.

Always call the police when a child goes missing, even if this happens regularly.

You do not need to wait 24 hours. Contact your local police or dial 999.

If a child is staying out late then they could be in danger of being exploited. Make sure you know where they are going, who they are with and when they will be returning home.

If this happens repeatedly, have a conversation with them about when you expect them to come home.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a parent said...

Incorrect, you should be worried.

Always call the police when a child goes missing, even if this happens regularly.

You do not need to wait 24 hours. Contact your local police or dial 999.

If a child is staying out late then they could be in danger of being exploited. Make sure you know where they are going, who they are with and when they will be returning home.

If this happens repeatedly, have a conversation with them about when you expect them to come home.

NEXT QUESTION

Would you be worried if a parent said...

7: 'Peter is glued to his phone all the time, he won't put it down'.


No, it's not an immediate concern.

Many young people may appear to be on their phones a lot of the time, which is completely normal.

However, if a young person appears to be extremely anxious or controlled by their phone, this could be an indication that they are being manipulated by a person who intends to cause them harm.

Also make sure that children don’t have access to phones when they should be sleeping as this can impact on their health and wellbeing.

Correct, it's probably fine.

Many young people may appear to be on their phones a lot of the time, which is completely normal.

However, if a young person appears to be extremely anxious or controlled by their phone, this could be an indication that they are being manipulated by a person who intends to cause them harm.

Also make sure that children don’t have access to phones when they should be sleeping as this can impact on their health and wellbeing.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION AND ADVICE

 

If you are worried about a child or young person, you can find out more about the signs of child sexual exploitation and what you can do if you think someone is at risk.

read the guide

 

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