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Sexual exploitation happens to boys and girls

Throughout this week Warwickshire Police, Barnardo's and Warwickshire County Council have been raising awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE).

It may be presumed that child sexual exploitation only happens to vulnerable young girls, but girls AND boys can be sexually exploited.

It doesn't matter if the boys are seen as tough and strong - sexual exploitation can happen to anyone regardless of where they live, what their parents or carers do for a living, what their race, religion or sexuality is.

There are a few warning signs that someone could be grooming you: If someone is...
•    Not close to your own age
•    Travelling far to meet you (and encouraging you to do the same)
•    Telling lies and keeping secrets (and encouraging you to do the same)
•    Doing inappropriate things - including:
Covering for you if you miss school, arranging to meet you when they've not known you for long, acting like they've known you for ages when they haven't
Doing illegal things - including: taking you to pub and clubs, giving you drugs or alcohol,     encouraging you to break the law, covering for you if you break the law
•    Doing sexual things - including: inappropriately talking to you about sex, asking personal questions about sex, showing you sexual stuff like sexual images and videos.
•    Being overly friendly - including: buying, loaning or giving you things when they haven't known you for long.
•    Controlling you - including: being bossy and controlling, being possessive and always contacting you, pressuring you, making you feel guilty or bad, isolating you from friends and family.

Here are some safety tips for all young people:

Don't add people online you don't know - even if your friends know them
Keep your online profile private
Think about what images and information you're sending, sharing and making available
Turn off the settings that show people where you are

In the Real World
Have friends and boyfriend or girlfriend who are close to your own age
Always let a parent/carer know where you are
Don't believe that you get something for nothing
Think about what information you're sharing and making available
Have your mobile phone with you at all times and keep it charged and topped up
Don't accept a drink from someone you don't know
Don't leave your drink alone
If you are meeting someone you don't really know and/or have never met, meet them in a public place and take a safe person with you

Get help
It's important to remember that there are people to help you if you or someone you know is being sexually exploited or has been sexually exploited.

If something's not right - please speak to someone. Exploitation is never your fault, even if you went along with things at first. Abusers can be very clever in the way they manipulate young people.

Call the police on 101 (always dial 999 in an emergency).

Contact Childline - call them free on 0800 1111

If you want to report a crime anonymously call Crimestoppers UK  on 0800 555 111

Call the Say Something helpline 116 000

Issued: Thursday, 15 March 2018 HB Corporate Communications


Published 15/03/18