Pledge to stop abuse on CSE awareness day
People in Sandwell are being urged to unite against child sexual exploitation (CSE) and make a personal pledge to help tackle the abuse.
Sandwell Council, Sandwell Children's Trust and councils across the West Midlands, along with West Midlands Police are supporting national CSE awareness day on Monday March 18.
Organised by the national charity NWG Network, which is dedicated to helping combat CSE, the day aims to encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse.
On the day people are asked to write a personal pledge on their hands and then post a photo of it on social media using #HelpingHands and #CSEDay19. The pledge can be anything, from speaking out, to educating others.
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 that may indicate something is wrong.
Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This national day is a chance for us to further increase awareness of CSE and how people can spot the warning signs.
“While we are marking CSE Awareness Day, we carry out work throughout the year with our partners to stamp out this appalling crime."
Frances Craven, chief executive of Sandwell Children's Trust added: "Our dedicated team work very hard with families where child sexual exploitation has been reported.
"CSE Awareness Day is a chance for us to unite against this terrible abuse and to reaffirm our pledge to continue to work with our partners to stop young people being exploited.
Visit www.seeme-hearme.org.uk to find out more and make a pledge on Monday 18 March to help stop this abuse.
Dudley, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Solihull and Coventry councils along with the police and partner organisations are working together to raise the profile of CSE in the region through the see me, hear me campaign.
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.
To find out more about the national CSE awareness day, visit www.stop-cse.org.
People can find out more information about child sexual exploitation by visiting www.seeme-hearme.org.uk.