The award-winning I Didn’t Know Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Campaign is re-launching for 2017.
It returns for a week on 13th March in the lead up to National CSE Awareness Day, on Saturday 18th March. It shines a spotlight on how grooming and sexual exploitation can be a part of the wider exploitation of children, such as trafficking, criminal exploitation by gangs and organised crime networks.
This year’s campaign identifies with young people who may feel trapped through the grooming process to commit crime and abuse other young people and importantly emphasise that they can get help and support too.
For each day of the campaign week, there will be key messages published on social media using the hashtag #KnowAboutCSE, to reach young people and parents.
The messages will highlight some of the crimes that young people may find themselves engaging in, such as selling drugs or displaying abusive, violent behaviour, and how young people can stay safe.
Deputy Chief Constable Matthew Horne said:
“This campaign aims to reach victims who may feel that they cannot seek support because they are afraid or are worried they might get in trouble.
“We want to raise awareness of the devastating impact of child sexual exploitation and ensure young people and parents know where they can go for advice and support.
“If you have any concerns that you or a child you know could be a victim of CSE, we urge you to get in touch.”
You can support this week’s campaign by:
- Talking to others and letting them know about the websites.
- Printing off resources and displaying them in public areas / training events etc.
- Showing the websites during training or raising awareness events.
- Speaking to parents/carers, families, children and young people, and supporting them to understand where they can get help.
- Share via social media
Inspired by a video project created by the Essex Children in Care Council, the campaign was set up last year by Essex Police and the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Safeguarding Children Boards, to raise awareness about CSE across the wider Essex area.
Within the same year, it won both the Gold Award at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRide Awards and the Partnership Working Category at the You Make the Difference Awards in Essex.
This reflected the effective partnership across Pan Essex, with targeted activities, such as the Safer Seafront Campaign and the Essex Schools Project, while on social media feeds, a reach of nearly 1.5m was achieved during the week’s campaign in 2016.
Whilst the issue of CSE has gained a higher profile, there is still so much more awareness to raise.
Tackling child sexual exploitation requires a commitment by all of us, so please join the campaign to help support communities in understanding CSE, how to recognise it, and what to do to get support.