Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and grooming are both terms that have been prevalent in the news and media recently and as parents you can be left with lots of questions, concerns and even feelings of confusion about what they mean and how you and school can protect your children.
The NSPCC provide a useful definition to assist parents understanding:
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.
Children or young people may be tricked into believing they’re in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed online.
Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also happen to young people in gangs.
The Listen to my Story campaign has been developed by Merseyside Police, local councils and third sector agencies throughout the Merseyside area to raise awareness of CSE in our communities and to educate young people, parents/carers, teachers, health professionals and service industry workers as to the signs and vulnerabilities of CSE.
For more information about ‘Listen to my Story’, please visit www.listentomystory.co.uk.
The Real Love Rocks team is focussed on supporting and equipping young people, parents and professionals to have the confidence and information to chat and raise awareness about child sexual exploitation, healthy relationships and stay safe.
For more information about ‘Real Love Rocks’, please visit www.barnardosrealloverocks.org.uk.
This powerful play toured Knowsley in 2014/2015 and we were very fortunate to be the only primary school who were invited to bring some primary aged parents along to bring their views and reactions to this otherwise 12+ aged targeted performance. To say that the parents were moved is an understatement and enabled valuable conversations to occur both within school and the Local Authority on the place for developing a wider understanding within the primary sector too. Chelsea’s Choice’ is a hard-hitting Applied Theatre Production that has proven highly successful in raising awareness of the issues surrounding Child Sexual Exploitation.
The play, which has now been seen by hundreds of professionals and over 340,000 young people throughout the UK, is followed by a Q&A/plenary session exploring the issues raised. The play tells the story of a group of three students who discover the diary of a girl called Chelsea. Chelsea was a young girl who, having fallen out with her friends and family, was approached by a man called Gary. Gary was older, owned a car, had a flat and treated her like an adult. Unfortunately Gary was not what he seemed to be! Chelsea’s story is played out and examined by the three students who, along with their teacher, attempt to understand what happened to Chelsea and how it could have been prevented.