People in Wolverhampton are being urged to unite against child sexual exploitation (CSE) and make a personal pledge to help tackle abuse.
The City of Wolverhampton Council is once again supporting Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day on Monday 18 March, 2019.
Organised by the national charity NWG Network, it aims to encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse.
People are asked to write a personal pledge on their hands and then post a photo of it on social media using the hashtag #CSEDay19. The pledge can be anything from speaking out about CSE to educating others about the issue and what signs to look out for.
This year’s CSE Awareness Day will be highlighting that child exploitation also encompasses criminal exploitation, county lines, trafficking and modern slavery.
The awareness drive supports the See Me, Hear Me campaign organised by Wolverhampton, Dudley, Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Solihull and Coventry councils and West Midlands Police to raise awareness of CSE across the region. It aims to increase people’s understanding of child sexual exploitation and how to spot the warning signs in a child or young person’s behaviour which may indicate that something is wrong.
Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “This national day is an opportunity for us to further increase awareness of CSE and how people can spot the warning signs.
“We all have our part to play in stopping this horrendous abuse. The more aware we are of the signs, the greater chance we have to stop the abuse and protect our young people.”
“We’d like as many people as possible to get involved, so please make a personal pledge, post a photo on social media and then act on what you’ve decided to do.
Warning signs of CSE include having friends who are older, persistently going missing, secretive relationships with unknown adults, truancy from school, chronic fatigue, constant calls on a mobile phone and the possession of money or new things.
Anyone who is concerned about the safety of a young person should call West Midlands Police on 101, speak in confidence to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or in an emergency call 999. Childline also have counsellors available online at www.childline.org.uk.