REPORT IT

WHAT IS CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION?

Child sexual exploitation can be hard to identify and a change in behaviour in a young person may often seem like normal teenage behaviour.  But for some, these could be the signs of something far more serious.

It’s not always easy to know what young people are up to and abusers can be very clever in their manipulations.

 

A young person may feel they are in a loving relationship, while perpetrators will often seek to break the bond between the child and their family.

 

However being aware of the WARNING SIGNS and acting on them early can prevent abuse happening or escalating.

 

 

IT’S IMPORTANT TO STRESS MOST CHILDREN IN THE UK DO NOT ENCOUNTER CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION. BUT IF YOUR CHILD IS AFFECTED, IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO KNOW IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND YOU ARE NOT ALONE. THERE ARE MANY ORGANISATIONS WHICH CAN HELP YOU.

TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN

Children and young people need to know they can talk to you about anything. Talk to them about healthy relationships and what they can do to help protect themselves, if they are in a difficult situation.

Encourage them to talk about things that are bothering them, even if they think you’ll be upset or cross. Perpetrators rely on victims feeling shame or guilt to keep them silent. Be in the habit of talking to them about what they’re getting up to and who their friends are and reassure them it’s ok to talk to you or another trusting adult if they feel threatened or concerned.

Talk to your children

TAKE AN ACTIVE INTEREST IN THEIR ONLINE LIFE

Take as much interest in your child’s online life as their offline one because abusers can use the internet to groom their victims. Grooming is when someone builds a connection with a young person to gain their trust.

Talk about the sites they use and the importance of not giving out personal information or meeting anyone in person they have only met online. Discuss the dangers of posting sexual images online and of ‘sexting’ (the sending or receiving of sexual images via text message).

The following offer help and support on how you can keep your children safe

 

  • BARNARDO’S have produced some top tips for parents as part of its ‘Real Love Rocks’ work with schools.
  • PACE offers support to concerned or affected parents including an online advice centre
  • CEOP's - thinkuknow offers advice to parents of children at primary and secondary school
  • NSPCC  has useful information and resources on CSE including a checklist for making sure your children avoid the darkside of the web.

 

REAL LOVE ROCKS
PACE Think u Know
NSPCC

INTERNET SAFETY TIPS FOR PARENTS AND GUARDIANS

The internet gives young people access to a world of information, new experiences and a wealth of educational resources, however as a parent it’s important to be aware of the risks to going online. If you and your child understand them and can make sensible choices, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe while doing so.

TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE ON LINE:

  • keep the computer where you can monitor your child’s activities and spend time online together to show your child proper behaviour and rules
  • get to know the sites your child uses, what type of information they offer and whether there are ways to block out inappropriate material
  • help your child to understand some people lie online and it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust
  • the internet is not a private space – advise your children not to post any pictures, videos or information on their profiles or in chat rooms that they would not want a parent or guardian to see
  • never give out personal information online such as your home address, telephone number or child’s school name
  • always keep in mind that you leave information about yourself behind as you move through the internet
  • some websites collect information called ‘cookies’. Cookies are compiled lists of information that may include your name, address, telephone number and possibly even your credit card number. Find out how to turn off your cookies – contact your internet provider for help if you need it
  • never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they have met online without your permission. If a meeting is arranged, make the first meeting in a public place and accompany your child to the meeting
  • If in doubt, contact the police
  • do not allow your child to respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene or threatening. Forward a copy of such messages to your internet service provider
  • do not allow them to access private chat rooms unless you are present
  • consider using an online service that has special child accounts with restricted access to chat rooms and the internet
  • monitor your credit card bill. Many pornographic internet sites require credit card payments in order to gain access

 

 

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