This March, Yellow Door is proud to be supporting Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day. The day aims to raise awareness about the issues about child sexual exploitation (CSE) and encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and commit to zero tolerance to inappropriate relationships between adults and children/young people, as well as between children/young people themselves.
What is Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)?
CSE occurs when an individual or a group take advantage of a young person, through the imbalance of power, through coercion, grooming, manipulation or deception. It can take many forms, and each case is highly individual.
Young people may be tricked in to believing they are in a consensual relationship; therefore, some young children may trust their abuser, rely on their abuser and some may receive money, drugs, gifts or affection and expect sexual acts in return. CSE can be humiliating, degrading and involve sexual abuses and violence, sometimes by more than one perpetrator. Trafficking can also be involved in CSE cases, whether within the country or even internationally.
Why do we need to raise awareness?
Sexual, labour and other criminal exploitation of young people and children often has devastating impacts for the individual, frequently affecting them well into adulthood. In 2017 The Children’s Society report that 16,500 children are at risk of being sexually exploited.
Together, by educating our selves on the signs and impacts of CSE, and speaking out against it, we can work to prevent CSE and protect those children and young people most at risk.
Signs of CSE:
Associating or developing relationships with adults
May become highly secretive
May stop spending time with their friends
Young people may go missing from home or be defensive about their activities, location or staying out late
Physical or health related problems, pregnancy, STIs
Odd calls and messages on their phone or social media from older or unknown associates
Young people may have new, expensive items which they would not be able to afford
Change in how they dress
Looking tired, unwell, sleeping poorly
They may have scars or marks they try to conceal
This is in no way an exhaustive list of signs, and its important to remember that abusers and young people alike may be skilled at hiding these signs from the young person's parents or guardians.
How can you get involved?
1. Write and share a pledge on your hand, posting it to social media using the #HelpingHands & #CSEDay19 and join the conversation.
2. Share articles and information about CSE to educate and inform other people.
3. Educate yourselves on the signs - Visit the official Stop CSE website to read more about CSE and its signs.
4. Display the campaign. You can download resources from the Stop CSE website and display in your window, in your place of work or at your university.