Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a hugely distressing form of abuse of children and young people.
It happens when a young person is encouraged, or forced, to take part in sexual activity in exchange for something. The reward might be presents, money, alcohol, or simply just the promise of love and affection. It might seem like a normal friendship or relationship at the beginning, but the young person might be persuaded to do sexual things they don’t want to do in return for something. The young person might not recognise the grooming or the controlling nature of the relationship and won’t see themselves as being taken advantage of or exploited.
Usually hidden from view, girls as well as boys are groomed and then abused, leaving them traumatised. It is a complex issue that covers many situations, including children and young people being exploited online, by gangs, and by adults and their peers. Knowing the signs and being aware of the support available can provide carers, professionals, and friends of those being exploited, the confidence to report.
What we are doing
The Commissioner is committed to funding a range of initiatives to help tackle child sexual exploitation, spearheaded through the acclaimed multi agency Something’s Not Right campaign, which continues to raise awareness of CSE and offer support in Warwickshire. The campaign encourages people to think about situations they may see or be involved in on a daily basis and if Something’s Not Right seek professional advice and guidance.
The Commissioner has awarded Barnardo’s with £166,326 during 2018/19 to deliver direct interventions and training across key PCC and Warwickshire County Council priorities, including early identification/prevention, support for children and support for parents and carers. The funding also covers continuance of the existing CSE provision in Warwickshire.
If you have concerns
Sexual exploitation, grooming, online exploitation – these forms of abuse could be happening to a friend or a young person you know. Sadly, child sexual exploitation (CSE) does happen in Warwickshire and is affecting the lives of young people across the county. Here’s what you can do to help:-
- Know the signs – warning signs of grooming include unexplained gifts, unexplained changes in behaviour or personality, changes in physical appearance such as weight loss, being absent from school, going missing, being overly familiar with friends that you don’t know. Visit www.warwickshirecse.co.uk/young-people to learn more.
- Visit Barnardo’s Real Love Rocks, a website all about raising awareness around Child Sexual Exploitation and what a healthy and safe relationship is.
- Respect Yourself is a website put together by Warwickshire County Council’s Respect Yourself Campaign Team in partnership with NHS Warwickshire, Coventry University and with a huge input from young people themselves. This site is aimed at young people – 13 years old and over, it’s a resource that is safe and reliable, including healthy relationships, sex and contraception. The site is monitored and supported by professionals who can provide the answers and encourage young people to take control of their relationships and to move at a pace they are comfortable with.
- Please follow, like and share the Warwickshire CSE posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
If you are – or know anyone who is – being sexually exploited, please call:-
- Warwickshire Police on 101 (always call 999 in an emergency)
- Call the Warwickshire Multi Agency Sexual Exploitation Team on 01926 684490
- Contact Childline , call them free on 0800 1111
- If you want to report a crime anonymously call Crimestoppers UK on 0800 555 111
- Visit the Say Something web page and helpline 116 000