Barnsley Council giving its support to the charity NWG Network for National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Raising Day 2019 on Monday 18 March.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.
The National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Raising Day aims to highlight the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.
CSE occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity in exchange for something the victim wants or needs and/or for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator.
The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual.
Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. Parents and carers are urged to take an interest in what their child is viewing on the internet and to help keep them safe online.
Barnsley Safeguarding Children Board brings together senior representatives from the key statutory, voluntary, and community sectors with a responsibility for delivering services to children and young people. Members of the Board work to keep children and young people in Barnsley safe from harm, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
Chair Barnsley Safeguarding Children Board of Robert Dyson, said: “I’m proud that the Board and the council are supporting this important awareness raising day.
“This type of abuse could happen to any young person from any background. It happens to boys and young men as well as girls and young women. The victims of abuse are not at fault.
“There needs to be zero tolerance to the abuse of children. It can ruin children's lives and affect their siblings and the whole family. Knowing the signs and being aware of the support available can help to equip people with the knowledge to do something about it.
“Don’t assume someone else will report it, take responsibility.”
More information is available on the dedicated pages of the council’s website.
To report a child is in danger call the police on 999 or (01142) 202020.
If you're concerned about a child, but they're not in immediate danger, it's still important to share any information as soon as possible by calling the Safeguarding Children Assessment Service on (01226) 772423. Offices are open between Monday and Friday from 9am to 5pm.