Spotting the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
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Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire County Council are running a week of awareness activity in the lead up to National Child Exploitation Day on 18 March.
Today we are offering advice to help spot the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation and online exploitation.
CSE is a form of child sexual abuse and occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child under the age of 18 into sexual activity. The exploitation can take place in person or online and the child might not even know or realise they are being exploited.
Boys and girls can be victim’s a child sexual exploitation.
It is never a child’s fault and it is important they know this.
You can help by being aware of the signs of child sexual exploitation and reporting any concerns.
Signs of sexual abuse and exploitation
Unhealthy or inappropriate sexual behaviour
Being frightened of some people, places or situations
Sharp changes in mood or character
Having money or things they can't or won't explain.
Physical signs of abuse, like bruises or bleeding in their genital or anal area.
Alcohol or drug misuse
Sexually transmitted infections
Signs of online exploitation
Spending a lot more or less time than usual online, texting, gaming or using social media.
Seeming distant, upset or angry after using the internet or texting
Being secretive about who they’re talking to and what they’re doing online or on their mobile phone.
Having lots of new phone numbers, texts or email addresses on their mobile phone, laptop or tablet.
What to do if a child reveals abuse
Listen carefully to what they are saying
Let them know they have done the right thing by telling you
Tell them it’s not their fault
Say you will take them seriously
Don’t confront the alleged abuse
Explain what you will do next
Report what the child has told you as soon as possible.
If you suspect a person of carrying out child sexual exploitation, or think someone you know has been a victim, or may be soon, visit our How to report possible child abuse page or call our non-emergency number, 101. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service on 18001 101.
If someone is in immediate danger of harm, please call 999 now. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.
Something's not right Warwickshire's multi-agency campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.
Barnardo's A national charity helping children in poverty, supporting young carers and helping families looking to foster or adopt.