Information and advice regarding the safety and well-being of children.
Safeguarding children and young people is everybody's responsibility
Child sexual exploitation (known as CSE for short) is a form of child abuse. It happens when a young person is manipulated or forced, to take part in sexual activity. The abuser works hard to groom the young person - it might seem like a normal friendship or relationship to begin with - gaining their trust and then exploiting that trust for their own gain. It can happen online or offline, and without the young person being aware of it. It may also involve more than one abuser and a number of victims.
It is a crime which destroys lives - it happens to children across the country and is not limited to a particular area, race, or social background. It happens to boys and young men as well as girls and young women. The abusers are very clever in the way they manipulate and take advantage of the young people they abuse.
Signs of sexual exploitation
Children and young people who are victims of sexual exploitation often do not recognise that they are being exploited. However there are number of signs that a child may be groomed for sexual exploitation:
- have they started to become truant from school?
- are they staying out overnight?
- have they been coming home with money, clothes, jewellery and mobile phones they can't explain properly?
- are they chatting online to people you have never met?
A Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) campaign has been launched to raise awareness across South Yorkshire:
- Spot the signs CSE Campaign
- Download (676KB)
Safeguarding children and young people who are at risk
Working with our partners we have developed a specialist team who are dedicated to safeguarding young people, working with individuals at risk, disrupting offenders and helping victims escape the cycle of abuse.
A big part of our role is the delivery of education and awareness raising sessions for children, young people, parents and professionals.
Help your child stay safe
Children and young people spend a lot of time online – it can be a great way for them to socialise, explore and have fun. But children do also face risks such as cyber bullying or seeing content that's inappropriate.
As a parent or carer, it is important to discuss with children the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships to help them understand the potential risks.
Children and young people may find it difficult to recognise that they are being exploited. There are a number of practical steps you can take to protect children such as:
- Making sure you understand the risks associated with your child being online and putting measures in place to minimise these risks.
- Being cautious of older friends your child may have, or relationships with other young people where they appear to have control over your child.
- Being aware of new, unexplained gifts or possessions and carefully monitoring any instances of staying out late or not returning home.
- Staying alert to changes in behaviour or any physical signs of abuse such as bruising.
- You can read about other behaviours to look out for in our 'spot the signs' section on the left-hand-side.
The PACE - Parents against child sexual exploitation website gives further information and advice for parents.
For lots more information and advice about relationships and sexual health please visit Respect Yourself Doncaster www.respectyourself.info/doncaster
Help us stop CSE
If you have any concerns regarding the safety and wellbeing of children, please call 01302 737777 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm) or 01302 796000 (outside office hours).
In an emergency call 999 if a crime is in progress or a life is at risk. For all other incidents please contact South Yorkshire Police on 101.
Alternatively, you can contact Childline on 0800 11 11 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Further information and resources are available on the think you know website.
- Spot the signs CSE Campaign
- Download (676KB - PDF)