Sunday 18th March is Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day. This day aims to highlight key issues surrounding CSE, encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero-tolerance approach to situations which put children at risk.
What is child sexual exploitation?
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation or coercion of young people under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity. In some cases a young person might be offered something in exchange for this, such as money, alcohol, gifts or status.
Young people can become vulnerable to CSE in many forms. This could be online (through grooming), or in person, through street gangs, and by others in positions of authority.
Relationship and Sex Education (RSE)
Spectrum delivers Relationship & Sex Education (RSE) lessons to approximately 20,000 young people across Wakefield, Barnsley, Wigan and Leigh each year. Working with local schools, our team provide opportunities for students to learn about the dangers of CSE and explore the subtleties of CSE and grooming.
The lessons designed by Spectrum’s RSE team focus on:
- Understanding exploitative and grooming behaviours
- recognising signs of CSE
- raising self-esteem and increasing resilience
- promote local support services
This approach allows students to improve their knowledge of key issues around CSE, know how to stay safe and where they can go to seek help and advice.
RSE lessons also return to key themes as students’ progress through high school, allowing students to continuously build their awareness, knowledge and confidence.
Concerns about CSE
If you’re worried that a young person could be at risk of sexual exploitation, you can:
- contact your local authority or safeguarding team to report a concern
- call the NSPCC helpline on 080 800 5000
- call the police