National Child Sexual Exploitation Day

Published on: Wednesday, 16-March-2016

The council is supporting National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Day, which takes place on Friday, 18 March 2016.

The council, working alongside partners including Merseyside Police, has been raising awareness of this sensitive issue.  CSE is a form of child abuse and is against the law.  It can have devastating effects on the lives of victims and their families.

As part of this work, children and young people, their parents or carers, teachers or professionals working with children are encouraged to visit the listen to my story website –  The listen to my story campaign has been developed by Merseyside Police, in partnership with the local authorities in Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral, to raise awareness of CSE and importantly, where to get help and support.

The website also provides advice to parents and carers to help them spot the signs that may signal their child is being groomed or exploited.  The common issues and reasons why young people can be vulnerable to Child Sexual Exploitation can be due to a number of factors including a young person's low self-esteem and a poor self-image.

Vulnerabilities are identified and targeted by the abuser, whether the young person is living with their family, looked after, away from home or they have run away.

Sexual exploitation can be linked to other issues in a child or young person's life and so it is very important that we are all able to recognise the warning signs that a child may be suffering sexual exploitation. There are no stereotypical victims of CSE, male and females can be a victim of CSE, but the below warning signs are indications that a child may be being exploited:

  • Regularly missing from home or school and staying out all night
  • Change in behaviour – becoming aggressive and disruptive or quiet and withdrawn
  • Unexplained gifts or new possessions such as clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or money that can’t be accounted for
  • Increase in mobile phone use or secretive use
  • A significantly older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘friend’ or lots of new friends
  • Spending excessive amounts of time online or on their mobile and becoming increasingly secretive about this activity
  • Sudden involvement in criminal behaviour or increased offending
  • Sexual health problems

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