Children or young people may be tricked into believing they're in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed online.
Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also happen to young people in gangs.
Child or young person
Some adults may try to buy your trust with expensive gifts; these gifts are often bribes to make you feel you have to do something in return. For example they may ask you to:
- Perform sexual acts on them.
- Take part in sexual acts with their friends.
- Send naked photographs to them or their friends.
- Take part in things you may feel uncomfortable with e.g. drugs taking or stealing to prove your ‘love’ and loyalty.
- If you (or a friend) are affected, then it is important to remember it is not your fault, you are not alone and there are people and organisations that can help.
Listen to my Story is a Merseyside-wide campaign aiming to raise awareness of CSE among everyone. It gives advice and guidance to young people, parents and guardians and professionals. Find out more and get help at Listen to my Story.
Parents and guardians
Listen to my Story is a Merseyside's wide campaign aimed at raising awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation and helping everyone to know the warning signs. Found out more here.
Learn to know the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation by clicking here.
For advice on preventing child abuse, visit http://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/
How can I protect myself?
Staying safe online
The internet is a great educational resource for children, giving them access to a world of information and new experiences however there are also 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.
- Keep the computer in your family room where you can monitor your child’s activities and spend time online together to show your child proper behaviour and rules.
- Become more computer literate – 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 - 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 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.
- Visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk for more information on staying safe online.
Where can I get help and further information?
Children and young people
For children or young people who believe they may be a victim of sexual exploitation or feel uncomfortable or worried about anything happening in their life, tell someone that you can trust today.
If you or someone close to you thinks they may be at risk from a potential sexual offender, contact the Police on 101, visit Listen to My Story or seek advice from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) or Childline. CEOP works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account.
Parents and guardians
Advice and guidance is available at Listen to My Story. You may also wish to seek support from Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE). This is a national charity working to support parents whose children are at risk of, or are already victims of, child sexual exploitation.
This is a national charity working to support parents whose children are at risk of, or are already victims of, child sexual exploitation.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Working in partnership with police, government, the internet and mobile phone industries, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) operates the UK Hotline for reporting criminal online content. The IWF’s service is free to the general public to help minimise the availability of illegal content and protect internet users, visit their website to find out more.