As part of a continuing campaign to raise awareness about Child Sexual Exploitation, schools across Cheshire East will be playing a key role in raising awareness this week. Pupils and staff from every school have been invited to take part in an exciting development day to learn more about the signs and to hear first-hand from a survivor of child sexual exploitation.
Based on lessons learnt from other areas and the views of children and young people, the ‘Know and See’ campaign aims to help keep vulnerable children safe. Most importantly the campaign gives them, and the adults involved, vital information.
The PAN-Cheshire campaign involves all agencies on the Local Safeguarding Children Board and aims to raise awareness of how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation, what to do, and how to prevent it. As part of the current focus on students, schools and parents, packs have been distributed to every school in the borough, encouraging them to run assemblies, distribute leaflets, posters and stickers.
Each pack contains key information and advice for teachers and those working with young people on the signs and behaviours associated with child sexual exploitation.
Knowing what to look for can help young people feel safe and stop people taking advantage. The campaign asks ‘when is a friend….not a friend?’ Know and see the signs:
■They give you money, drugs, alcohol or gifts and expect something in return
■They may flatter you, give you loads of attention to make you feel special, but they also ask you to do things which aren't right
■They promise you the world but threaten you or use violence if you don't do what they want
■They tell you no one understands you like they do and take you away your family and friends
■They put pressure on you to have sex with them or with someone they know
■They take pictures or film you, or make you look at images of other young people which makes you feel uncomfortable
Ian Rush, Chair of Cheshire East Local Safeguarding Children Board said: “Safeguarding our children and young people from abuse of this kind will always be a top priority for the Board. We know that perpetrators deliberately target some of our most vulnerable children - whether online or in public places – we are absolutely determined to do everything we can as a partnership to put an end to this.
“Often young people are those who notice the signs of relationship abuse in others but may feel lost as to what to do. The message that we want schools to help get across is that ‘It’s OK to seek advice if you are concerned about a friend’.
“Everyone involved in safeguarding children and young people across Cheshire East is working hard to tackle this issue to ensure the right advice and support is in place for victims and potential victims.”
Anyone with any concerns about a child or young person should call Cheshire East Consultation Service on 0300 123 5012 (opt2) or out of office hours call our Emergency Duty Team on 0300 123 5022.