What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/help-advice/child-sexual-exploitation-cse

What is child sexual exploitation?

CSE is Child Sexual Exploitation. In very basic terms, it involves a victim being targeted and groomed by adults, with the intention of sexually assaulting and/or raping them.

The children are targeted because they are vulnerable; due to their age.

Grooming can take place in many forms – both ‘on line’ in social media chat rooms, via mobile phones or in person. The child will not always realise they are being groomed.

Often the grooming starts with friendship or a relationship, where the offender may supply gifts such as clothes, money, mobile phones, which may progress to the supply of alcohol and drugs.

Sometimes the children are given lifts and transported around. The offender will usually encourage the child to distance themselves further from their usual family and friends. Soon into this friendship/relationship, sexual assaults and rapes may occur upon the child.

The offenders are very organised and deliberate in their actions, in some cases working together within a group. They are predatory sex offenders, targeting specifically vulnerable children.

How can we educate young people about the dangers?

A great deal of work has been ongoing to make young people aware of the dangers of Child Sexual Exploitation. This includes regular work from partner organisations within schools to make pupils aware of this offence and how to identify it. There have also been a number of educational events which specialist officers have attended. This preventative work compliments the proactive operations, resulting in significant custodial sentences.

How can people recognise where sexual exploitation is taking place?

We offer literature and information via our websites to highlight the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation and how to get help. For instance, some offenders may use gifts to encourage young people to engage with them and is one of a number of indicators.

There will be acute cases of children subject to ongoing abuse and those children whose lifestyle and association means they are at risk of sexual exploitation.

Does technology make this offence more difficult to identify?

Although technology enables such offences to take place online through chat rooms and other mediums, it also leaves offenders open to being caught. We monitor these sites and where there is evidence of Child Sexual Exploitation, we can take action by seizing equipment such as computers and mobile phones. These strengthen the weight of evidence against the offenders.

From a preventative perspective, we also have nationally trained officers who work in schools to alert them to the online dangers and how to recognise the potential for grooming.

Know the Signs

Even something that seems like normal teenage behaviour could be a sign that a child is being sexually exploited.  Some of the visible signs include:

  • Regularly missing from home or school and staying out all night
  • Change in behaviour – becoming aggressive and disruptive or quiet and withdrawn.
  • Unexplained gifts or new possessions such as clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or money that can’t be accounted for.
  • Increase in mobile phone use or secretive use
  • Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Being picked up or dropped off in cars by unknown adults
  • A significantly older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘friend’ or lots of new friends
  • Spending excessive amount of time online and becoming increasingly secretive about time spent online
  • Sudden involvement in criminal behaviour or increased offending
  • Sexual health problems

If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation report it to West Yorkshire Police by calling 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

For more general information and links, see our personal safety section http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/help-advice/crime-prevention/personal-safety

For more information about bullying, please click on the following link that will take you to ‘Bullying Online’, a registered charity that provides internet help and support for parents and children experiencing the trauma of school bullying –

Bullying UK Logo www.bullying.co.uk

Related Links: http://ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

 

Taken from the above link.  I am no expert in this, but I do feel passionately about this issue.  The only way it can be tackled is to raise awareness of the issue and help people to identify what the signs are.

B.

Advertisements

Signs of CSE & Grooming in Young People

cse_poster_external_030613

Signs a child or young person is being sexually exploited

This is not an easy topic to discuss but with so many stories being published from the ‘Jimmy Saville Case’ to the ‘Lost Prophets case’ to the grooming rings found in places like Rochdale, one thing this confirms is sexual exploitation and grooming DOES exist and it does so right across society.

It is important to strike whilst the iron is hot, if you work with children or young people in any capacity it is important you are aware of any signs.

The following list of indicators is not exhaustive or definitive but it does highlight common signs which can assist professionals in identifying children or young people who may be victims of sexual exploitation.

Signs include:

  • underage sexual activity
  • inappropriate sexual or sexualised behaviour
  • sexually risky behaviour, ‘swapping’ sex
  • repeat sexually transmitted infections
  • in girls, repeat pregnancy, abortions, miscarriage
  • receiving unexplained gifts or gifts from unknown sources
  • having multiple mobile phones and worrying about losing contact via mobile
  • having unaffordable new things (clothes, mobile) or expensive habits (alcohol, drugs)
  • changes in the way they dress
  • going to hotels or other unusual locations to meet friends
  • seen at known places of concern
  • moving around the country, appearing in new towns or cities, not knowing where they are
  • getting in/out of different cars driven by unknown adults
  • having older boyfriends or girlfriends
  • contact with known perpetrators
  • involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations
  • hanging out with groups of older people, or anti-social groups, or with other vulnerable peers
  • associating with other young people involved in sexual exploitation
  • recruiting other young people to exploitative situations
  • truancy, exclusion, disengagement with school, opting out of education altogether
  • unexplained changes in behaviour or personality (chaotic, aggressive, sexual)
  • mood swings, volatile behaviour, emotional distress
  • self-harming, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, overdosing, eating disorders
  • drug or alcohol misuse
  • getting involved in crime
  • police involvement, police records
  • involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership
  • injuries from physical assault, physical restraint, sexual assault.

These signs have been drawn from a range of research (Barnardo’s, 2011; CEOP, 2011; Berelowitz et al, 2012) and from our experience working with sexually exploited children and young people through a known children’s charity.

It is positive that more cases are reaching court and convictions are being made, but unfortunately I believe we are only scratching the surface and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we protect children from these perpetrators.