Parents & Carers
Child Sexual Exploitation- Information for parents, carers and other adults
Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse, in which a young person is manipulated, groomed or forced into taking part in a sexual act. This could be as part of a seemingly consensual relationship, or in return for attention, affection, money, drugs, alcohol or somewhere to stay.
The young person may think that their abuser is their friend, or even a boyfriend or girlfriend.
However they will put them into dangerous situations, forcing the young person to do things they don’t want to do.
This type of abuse could happen to any young person from any background. It happens to boys and young men as well as girls and young women. This abuse is not the victim’s fault.
Parents and carers have a very important role in keeping children and young people safe from child sexual exploitation.
If you think a child may be at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation, ask yourself these questions …
- Are they chatting online to people you have never met?
- Are they secretive about where they have been and with whom?
- Are they losing contact with family and friends of their own age, and associating with an older age group?
- Has there been a change in their mood or behaviour?
- Have you had concerns that they could be using drugs and/or alcohol?
- Have they begun a relationship with someone older or someone that you are concerned about?
- Have they been coming home with money, clothes, jewellery and mobile phones they can’t explain properly?
- Have they started to truant from school?
- Have they been missing from home?
- Are they staying out overnight?
Below are some suggestions for how you can help to protect a child from Child Sexual Exploitation ...
- Staying alert to changes in behaviour
- Looking out for signs of physical abuse such as bruising or scars
- Making sure you understand the risks associated with your child being online and put measures in place to minimise these risks.
- Being cautious of older friends your child may have, or relationships with other young people where they appear to have control over your child.
- Being aware of new, unexplained gifts or possessions
- Monitoring any instances of staying out late or not returning home, noting times and dates, and any cars which pick them up or drop them off. Always contact the Police if your child does not return home.
- Talking to your child about healthy relationships, and providing a supportive environment to encourage them to speak with you if they wish to.
If you are concerned that a child is being sexually exploited, then it is important that you contact someone who can help. This could be the Police, a teacher at the child’s school, or another professional. Further suggestions for help, advice and information can be found below…
For help or advice…
- In an emergency, always ring 999
- If you have concerns regarding a child in Solihull, ring Children’s Services on MASH 0121 788 4333
- Talk to a professional who knows the child, such as a Teacher or Social Worker.
- You can also contact Childline on 0800 1111 to report your concerns.
- If you would like to share information which might help protect a child you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or the Police on 101.
- You can conact PACE (parents against child expoitation on 0113 240 3040
- The university of Bedfordshire have produced some letter templates for parents and carers to use to contact their MP and school head to see what is being done to keep children safe
For more information about child sexual exploitation ...
- Eastenders featured a storyline where Whitney was groomed for sexual exploitation. This video was made for training Police Officers about child sexual exploitation, and it shows clearly how Whitney was targeted and groomed.
- Barnardos & PACE have made a short animated clip designed for parents and carers, to explain more about Child Sexual Exploitation.
- PACE have set up and advice centre for parents to obtain information. Please click here for further information.
- Barnardos have created a leaflet for parents and carers to help you better understand Child Sexual Exploitation, and some of the warning signs to look out for.
- PACE (Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation) have a website which provides lots of information for Parents and Carers. They also run a mentoring scheme and phone line for support.
- See Me Hear Me is a West Midlands-wide campaign which aims to improve people’s awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation.
- CEOP’s website provides advice about keeping children and young people safe online. Young people can also report online abuse here. This can include inappropriate contacts via social networks or chat rooms.
- This short clip by BLAST (a boy’s CSE project) explains how boys can be sexually exploited as well as girls.
- PACE has created an online interactive tool for parents, which will help you to understand more about child sexual exploitation
- PACE offer e-learning to parents and carers, which will help you understand more about child sexual exploitation.
- Parents Protect leaflet - gives advice on helping you to protect children and young peeople from sexual abuse and exploitation.
- The National Working Group published a Briefing to Parents on the 'Say Something' service for young people to report sexual exploitation.
- Regional CSE Poster 1
- Regional CSE Poster 2
- Regional CSE Leaflet