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Young people are being asked to look out for the signs of exploitation 

Cornwall Council is urging young people to look out for the signs of exploitation among their friends.  

90% of young people who are abused are abused by someone they know - and some may not be aware they are being exploited.  

Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Cornwall Council, Barbara Ellenbroek, said: “Offenders use all sorts of tactics to get young people to do things for them – whether that’s befriending them, giving them gifts and money, or making them think that they owe some kind of debt – and a young person might even think they’ve agreed to what’s happening. 

“But we also know that those who exploit children and young people will often resort to violence and threats when they don’t get what they want. That’s why it is so important for us to make sure that we’re educating young people on the signs to look out for and the routes for reporting any concerns – even if they’re not completely sure that it’s exploitation.” 

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Safeguarding Partnership has lots of great resources on its website for parents, young people and professionals.  This includes the #CETHESIGNS campaign, which was launched last year and links with the three-year Cornwall Exploitation Strategy from 2020-2023 for children and young adults aged up to 25. 

If you are being exploited or abused, or someone you know is, then it’s important to know that help is available.  You can contact the police directly on 101 or 999 if you are in immediate danger. You can also ring Childline for help and advice on 0800 11 11. 

If you would prefer not to speak to the police you can contact Children's Services (also called the Multi-Agency Referral Unit, MARU) and can be contacted on 0300 123 1116 during the day or 01208 251 300 after 5pm and at weekends. 

For more information: 

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