I am a parent or carer
Although media coverage of police investigations into prominent public figures has brought child sexual exploitation (CSE) and abuse to the public's attention, CSE continues to happen everyday.
It's important to understand what child sexual exploitation is and to be aware of warning signs that may indicate that a child you know is being exploited.
Signs of child sexual exploitation include the child or young person:
- going missing for periods of time or regularly returning home late
- skipping school or being disruptive in class
- appearing with unexplained gifts or possessions that can't be accounted for
- experiencing health problems that may indicate a sexually transmitted infection
- having mood swings and changes in temperament
- using drugs and alcohol
- displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviours, such as over familiarity with strangers, dressing in a sexualised manner or sending sexualised images by mobile phone ("sexting")
- they may also show signs of unexplained physical harm such as bruising and cigarette burns
Getting teenagers to talk openly about what's bothering them can be hard
Follow these tips to help get them talking to you about their worries. This advice is taken from the NHS Choices - for detailed information please go to the NHS Choices - Talking to Your Teenager (CSE) page
- 1. Ask, don't judge
- 2. Ask, don't assume or accuse
- 3. Be clear you want to help
- 4. Be honest yourself
- 5. Help them think for themselves
- 6. Don't criticise everything
- 7. If they get angry, try not to react
- 8. Make them feel safe
- 9. Avoid asking questions they won't answer
- 10. Treat them with respect; don't try to act cool or young, be understanding and listen
E-Learning for parents
According to a recent National survey, "78% of parents can't identify all the key signs of child sexual exploitation." (YouGov 2013). Raising awareness of child sexual exploitation with parents and carers and helping them to recognise the signs of sexual exploitation and how to respond is key to protecting children at risk.
The GSCB are promoting a resource for parents developed by Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (PACE) in partnership with the Safeguarding Children e-Academy, to produce this FREE resource, which assists parents in keeping children safe by helping them to know more about child sexual exploitation.
- Know the signs and indicators of when a child might be being exploited
- Appreciate the impact child sexual exploitation can have on families
- Know what to do if you suspect a child might be at risk of this abuse
Feedback from parents
"It is very good at explaining not only the signs, but what to do if you suspect it is happening."
"I found it very informative, the voice over kept me focused, plenty of contact agencies for further information, help, advice and support. The course took just about the right length of time to complete and is parent friendly."