We are committed to helping safeguard our children by encouraging residents to recognise and respond to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) by spotting the signs and highlighting the fact that CSE can, and does happen in West Sussex.
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.
- Everyone has a role to play in raising awareness of CSE
- The safeguarding of children is everybody’s business
- Any child can be sexually exploited no matter what culture, ethnicity, religion or gender from any background
Across West Sussex we are committed to stopping CSE. Our dedicated CSE campaign is targeted towards young people, parents & carers and professionals.
Recognise the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation:
Sexualised behaviour - children appearing to be in ‘relationships’ with adults
Absence - going missing from home/school, out in the day or late at night
Family issues - domestic abuse and neglect
Emotional and physical health - low or excessively high self-esteem, changes in appearance, self-harming, concerning appearance or behaviour
Gang involvement and criminality - are these children at risk from more sophisticated older children/adults or organised criminals?
Use of technology – excessive calls/texts, extensive use of social media to meet people, sexting, secretive about online activity, having to keep mobile phone with them all the time.
Alcohol and drug use (becoming problematic) - children being bought alcohol by adults
Receipt of gifts and unexplained money
Distrust of authority and change in behaviour - consider whether these are children troubling rather than troublesome?
We support Sussex Police’s CSE campaign and are committed to preventing Child Sexual Exploitation by delivering focused training, in partnership with Barnardo’s, to professionals and community and voluntary groups raising awareness of CSE. We have trained professionals to use the West Sussex Exploitation screening tools and have written a number of blogs and materials around healthy relationships aimed at young people.