Child sexual exploitation (part two)
What should I look out for?
- The child might have unexplained gifts such as clothes, piercings, phones or money, given as gifts by their abuser.
- They may be using drugs or alcohol supplied by their abuser.
- They may be frequently absent from home or school.
- Repeated STIs or pregnancies can be a sign.
- Physical injuries - the abuser may start to try to find ways of controlling the victim, including becoming violent.
- Family estrangement - the abuser might try and separate the child from their friends and family as gives the abuser further control.
- They may experience poor mental health – child abuse can have a huge impact on emotional and psychological health.
See if you can spot some of these signs in this short NSPCC animated story of child sexual exploitation.
What should I do if I think a child is being abused?
Call Hertfordshire Constabulary on 101 if you see anything that makes you suspect child sexual exploitation may be occurring. Dial 999 if there is an immediate danger to life, risk of injury or crime being committed.
Non-recent reports of CSE can also be made to the police if you or anyone you know experienced sexual exploitation whilst under 18 years of age.
- Hertfordshire Constabulary investigate crime related to child sexual exploitation. The most serious cases are investigated by Halo - a team of detectives based within the Safeguarding Command.
- You can report sexual assaults through the Sexual Assault Referral Centre.
- The Blast Project is the leading UK male only sexual exploitation service.
- Parents Against Child Exploitation works alongside parents and carers of children who are – or are at risk of being - sexually exploited.
- Thinkuknow provides online advice segmented for children, parents and carers and professionals.
- Say Something helpline is a free and anonymous 24/7 text message and call service for those wanting to talk about CSE – their number is 116 000.
- The Hertfordshire Safeguarding website provides information on the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.
- The NHS also provide tips on developing CSE awareness.