Join the campaign to stop child sexual exploitation
People from across the county are being asked to show their support for a national campaign which aims to help put a stop to sexual exploitation of children.
The Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board (GSCB) is calling on everyone of any age and from every background to unite against child sexual exploitation by taking part in the awareness day organised by charity The NWG Network on Saturday 18th March.
The campaign seeks to highlight the issue by encouraging people to write a personal pledge on their hands about stopping child sexual exploitation, then posting it on Social Media using the hashtags #HelpingHands and #CSEDay17.
Throughout the day local leaders and professionals who sit on the board including the police, health trusts and Gloucestershire County Council will show their support by posting personal pledges online. #HelpingHands photos from local participants will also be retweeted.
Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.
The national child sexual exploitation awareness day aims to encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against this abuse and adopt a zero tolerance approach to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children developing inappropriate relationships with other children.
David McCallum, Independent Chair of Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Sexual exploitation is child abuse and we need to do all we can working together as partners, individuals and communities to put a stop to it.
“Whether parents, professionals, teachers, school friends, neighbours or those working in bars, clubs, hotels or driving buses or taxis we all have a role to play in keeping children safe.
“If you see something, say something. If you think a child you know may be at risk of sexual exploitation please speak to someone you trust or call the Children’s Helpdesk on 01452 426565. Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Gloucestershire has a very strong Safeguarding Children Board made up of professionals who work with children. We work very hard to prevent cruelty to children and we have lots of things in place to help us achieve this.
“We all have a duty of care for the county’s children and young people and to make sure they are protected from child abuse in whatever form it may take.
“I would encourage everyone to lend their support to this campaign and to help stop child sexual exploitation once and for all.”