REPORT IT

PROFESSIONALS

If you work or come into contact with young people, whether in an employed or voluntary capacity, then you have a duty of care towards them. You could work in a library, a leisure centre, a health centre or clinic, a GP surgery or anywhere where you regularly come into contact with children and young people.

WHEREVER YOU ARE, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE YOU AND THOSE YOU WORK WITH:

WHAT IS CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION?

Child sexual exploitation is not a new phenomenon, neither is it more prevalent in the West Midlands than anywhere else in the country. However due to some very high profile cases around the country in recent years, everyone is far more aware that it is happening.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse and it is against the law. It involves perpetrators grooming their victims, who are under 18, in various ways, such as in person, via mobiles or online to gain their trust before emotionally and sexually abusing them for their own gain.

 

It can take place in many forms, whether through a seemingly consensual relationship, or a young person being forced to have sex in return for some kind of payment, such as drugs, money, gifts or even protection and affection.

 

Often the young person does not even recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation. This means they are unlikely to report the abuse.

 

PLEASE ENSURE EVERYONE YOU WORK WITH KNOWS WHAT CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IS AND KNOWS HOW TO RECOGNISE THE WARNING SIGNS. IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT ANY CHILD, PLEASE GET SOME HELP AND ADVICE.

HOW TO SPOT THE WARNING SIGNS

A young person who is being sexually exploited may show a range of behaviours or warning signs that may indicate they are a victim or at risk of child sexual exploitation.

One of the best ways you can help a child who is at risk of sexual exploitation is to be aware of what signs to look out for and share these signs with others.

If you know a young person who is showing some of these signs and you’re worried about them please REPORT IT now.

Spot the signs

APPEARANCE AND BEHAVIOUR

  • physical symptoms (bruising suggestive of either physical or sexual assault)
  • evidence of drug, alcohol or substance misuse
  • volatile behaviour / mood swings / use of abusive language
  • truancy/disengagement with education or change in performance at school
  • low self-image, low self-esteem, self-harming behaviour, e.g. cutting, overdosing, eating disorder
  • physical aggression towards others
  • change in appearance / always tired

 

SEXUAL

  • sexually transmitted infections / pregnancy / seeking an abortion
  • sexually risky behaviour
  • sexual / unexplained relationships with older people
  • history of abuse or neglect
  • domestic violence / parental difficulties
  • clothing – inappropriate for age, borrowing clothing from others
  • reports that the child has been seen in places known to be used for sexual exploitation

 

RELATIONSHIPS

  • entering or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults
  • hostility in relationship with parents/carers and other family members
  • reports to suggest the likelihood of involvement in sexual exploitation (eg from friends or family)
  • associating with other young people who are known to be sexually exploited
  • inappropriate use of Internet – & forming relationships, with adults
  • phone calls, text messages or letters from unknown adults
  • adults or older youths loitering outside the child’s usual place of residence

 

MISSING / HOMELESSNESS

  • truancy
  • placement breakdown
  • persistently missing, staying out overnight or returning late
  • returning after having been missing, looking well cared for in spite of having no known home base
  • missing for long periods, with no known home base
  • going missing and being found in areas where the child or young person has no known links

 

FINANCIAL

  • petty crime e.g. shoplifting, stealing
  • having keys to other premises
  • expensive clothes, mobile phones or other possessions without explanation
  • accounts of social activities requiring money
  • possession of large amounts of money with no plausible explanation

FRAMEWORK

The West Midlands CSE regional framework has been developed to provide a consistent approach to identifying and responding to CSE across the seven West Midlands local authority areas – Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton and by West Midlands Police and partner organisations.

It aims to ensure those children or young people being sexually exploited, or at risk of being sexually exploited, are identified as early as possible, that they are listened to and they receive effective and timely support to meet their needs to prevent the abuse from happening, or continuing.

 

Through the framework, the aim is to ensure key locations are identified, managed and disrupted by all agencies working together and that action is taken against those intent on abusing and exploiting children and young people by disrupting and prosecuting perpetrators.

DOCUMENTS

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