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Harlow Council supports the County-wide “I Didn’t Know” Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Campaign

News / Tue 14th Mar 2017 at 06:03pm

HARLOW Council is supporting the County-wide “I Didn’t Know” Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Campaign which is re-launching for 2017.

The campaign returns for a week from today (13 March 2017) in the lead up to National CSE Awareness Day, on Saturday 18 March 2017. It shines a spotlight on how grooming and sexual exploitation can be a part of the wider exploitation of children, such as trafficking, criminal exploitation by gangs and organised crime networks.

This year’s campaign identifies with young people who may feel trapped through the grooming process to commit crime and abuse other young people and importantly emphasise that they can get help and support too.

For each day of the campaign week, there will be key messages published on social media using the hashtag #KnowAboutCSE, to reach young people and parents. The messages will highlight some of the crimes that young people may find themselves engaging in, such as selling drugs or displaying abusive, violent behaviour, and how young people can stay safe.

Inspired by a video project created by the Essex Children in Care Council, the campaign was set up last year by Essex Police and the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Safeguarding Children Boards, to raise awareness about CSE across the wider Essex area.

Councillor Emma Toal, Harlow Council’s Portfolio Holder for Youth & Community, said: “We are supporting this campaign to help raise awareness of the signs of child exploitation, which very sadly is happening in our communities across the UK. It can happen to any young person from any background and affects boys and young men as well as girls and young women. If you are a parent or guardian or work with young people or if you are concerned about a young person, go to the Essex Police website. On this website you can learn to spot the signs and find information on where to turn to for support.”

Know the signs

Children and young people who are victims of sexual exploitation often do not recognise they are being exploited. However, there are a number of signs that could indicate a child is being groomed.

Changes in temperament or suffering from depression, mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing.
Secretive behaviour.
Association with other young people involved in exploitation and having older boyfriends/girlfriends.
Getting involved in petty crime such as shoplifting or stealing.
Education
Being absent and truanting, lack of interest and frequent poor behaviour.
Considerable change in performance.

For more information visit www.essex.police.uk/advice/child-sexual-exploitation

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