Northumberland supports child exploitation awareness day
17 Mar 2021
Residents in Northumberland are being reminded of how to spot the signs this National Child Exploitation Awareness Day.
The awareness day which takes place on Thursday 18 March 2021 aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Exploitation; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out
against abuse and adopt a zero-tolerance policy to adults exploiting children into sexual or criminal activity.
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The council is committed to the fight against all forms of exploitation and supporting victims and their families who are subjected to child exploitation. Together, we can work to inform, educate and prevent child abuse within Northumberland.”
Parents and carers may find it difficult to differentiate between what is ordinary teenage behaviour and what is a risk of or involvement in sexual exploitation but there are some signs that may signify that children or young people are being groomed for sexual exploitation or actually being sexually exploited.
Paula Mead, Northumberland Safeguarding Children’s Board Independent Chair, said: “We all have a responsibility to safeguard our children and young people. Spotting the signs of exploitation can be extremely hard, but if we are all looking out for it we will be able to help more children and young people from being abused, mistreated or exploited.
“I strongly urge anyone who has concerns to raise them as soon as they are able to either through the safeguarding channels at the council or if an emergency, the police.”
Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility, so it is important to learn how to Spot the Signs:
- Change in friends
- Change in appearance
- Missing day or night
- Going to new places
- Spending more time online
- Unexplained injuries
- Coping mechanisms; self-harm, alcohol or drugs
- New unexplained items
Find out more about how you can help a child or young person you are concerned about at https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Children/Safeguarding.aspx