Cornwall Council and partners support National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day

Sunday 18 March is Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day.

Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection said:  “We are committed to protecting children from harm. We have all seen how child sexual exploitation can damage lives and we are working with our partners to provide the best possible response.  We work closely together and want the community to feel confident that they can share concerns and we want children and young people to know that we will listen.”

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Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation or coercion of young people into sexual activity and there have been many harrowing stories where children have been targeted and groomed online.

Alongside our Safeguarding Children Partnership, Safer Cornwall and Safeguarding Adults Board and with partners across the Peninsula including Devon and Cornwall Police and Torbay and Devon Safeguarding Children Boards, we are promoting awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for children and wellbeing Sally Hawken said: “Parents, carers, relatives, friends, neighbours, members of the public and professionals all have a role to play. We’re supporting the national campaign on 18 March which aims to raise awareness and we encourage people to report any concerns.

The Awareness Day aims to highlight this form of abuse and encourage everyone to adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children developing inappropriate relationships with other children.

John Clements Independent Chair of the Cornwall and Isle of Scilly Local Safeguarding Board said: “Sadly it’s no surprise that children may be at risk from online grooming so by raising awareness, this campaign encourages parents to feel better educated and equipped around online use, and for children and young people to spot signs of grooming and know where to go for help and support.“

The partners are taking part in a national social media campaign and encouraging people from their organisations and beyond to support the Twitter Thunderclap on 18 March and write a personal pledge on their hands to show support for the Helping Hands campaign.

Post your photo on social media with the hashtag #HelpingHands and #CSEDay18 to help raise awareness of CSE.

 

Story posted 16 March 2018