The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 is where a young person will receive something in return for, or be pressured into performing, sexual activities.
Firstly it is child abuse and puts young people at risk of damage to their physical, emotional and psychological health.
It can take many forms:
• A “seemingly” consensual relationship with an older boyfriend
• A young person having sex in return for attention, alcohol, cigarettes, gifts or lifts.
• On-line – young person encouraged to share indecent images (sexting) or perform sexual acts on webcam and other person then threatens to share images unless perform further acts
• Organised/networked CSE – serious organised crime
• Unexplained gifts or money
• Using mobile phone secretly
• Significantly older friends/boyfriends
• Playing truant from school
• Missing from home
• Changes in appearance/behaviour
• Using drugs/alcohol
• Do not perceive themselves as victim
• Believe they have acted voluntarily
• Not aware of help is available
• Fear of not being believed
The strategic lead is being taken by the Safeguarding Partnership Board who has formed a CSE sub-group. This group has produced an island strategy and an action plan for progression in 2014.
At an operational level all CSE enquiries are routed through the newly formed MASH where relevant information is shared by all the agencies to provide support for young people and families and identify, disrupt and prosecute offenders.
The States of Jersey Police have identified CSE as a priority in the Policing Plan and are embarking on a year long program of awareness raising designed to help educate parents and young people in the island. This includes designing a new web page with information, using social media – Twitter and Facebook to get message across, hosting a live web chat on sexting and designing a new TV advertisement campaign. We will also be linking in with PMNW to help deliver the right messages in schools about healthy relationships.
The States of Jersey Police has a dedicated Public Protection Unit which looks at sensitive subjects like Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Child Exploitation.
This team handles all issues of potential child sexual exploitation with sensitivity, professionalism and thoroughness, and are available to contact at any time via the force’s main non-emergency 612612 number.
Between 9 - 5 Monday to Friday you can also call the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 449213, or out of hours the States of Jersey Police again on 612612.
The ThinkUKnow website has a wide range of advice on what to do if you feel you might be in an exploitative relationship.
Also, a leaflet is available on how to get help if you feel you are in a situation with an older person that you are uncomfortable with.
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