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PMNW to support local CSE Team to mark National CSE Awareness Day

March 13, 2016 at 8:22 PM

Child Sexual Exploitation is being highlighted locally as part of a national awareness campaign, culminating in the National Day on March 18th.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

National research has shown that on average it takes seven years for children to disclose sexual abuse as they either have no one they trust to turn to, no one who listens or no one who asks.

Today agencies in Jersey, in conjunction with the Safeguarding Partnership Board, are working together to raise awareness of CSE in the island and educate people about what it is and how they can help.

The Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership Board, Glenys Johnston OBE, said “Safeguarding is everyone’s business and all children have the right to be safe and protected from all forms of abuse and neglect. When a child finds the courage to tell somebody they are being abused, that person, whoever they may be, must take what the child has said seriously, listen to them and take appropriate action.”

Detective Inspector Mark Hafey of the Public Protection Unit said: “Jersey is an amazing place to live with relatively low crime levels, but we must never become complacent or naïve to the fact that appalling crimes can still happen here. Whilst reported incidents of CSE are low in Jersey, there is increasing evidence that young people are on occasion being exposed to CSE – we therefore need to avoid complacency.

“Because of that we wanted to play our part in the National CSE Awareness Day so people here know what it is, the signs to look out for and how they can help.

“The National CSE Awareness Day aims to highlight the issues surrounding sexual exploitation; encouraging everyone from all walks of life to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ to this abuse within our society. It is unacceptable that any child who confides in someone could be ignored. Together, we can work to inform, educate and prevent child sexual abuse.

MASH Manager Fon Roberts said: “We would urge anyone who has a concern about a child or young person to make contact with MASH whether about CSE or any other issue.  Even if you’re not sure if your concern is valid or you simply need to check out your concern please contact MASH on 01534 519000”  

Throughout the week a number of activities are taking place including inputs being delivered to every secondary school through Prison Me No Way, stalls in town manned by officers and youth workers and sports sessions in the Town Park and at Springfield.

A dedicated Facebook page, CSE Jersey, has been set up to give information and answer questions that people have, and to also support the Helping Hands pictures which are a key part of the campaign.

“This is a good opportunity for our youth workers to be out with young people and raise awareness of what CSE is, how they can stay safe and protect themselves, and where help and support is available should any young person need it.  Good multi-agency working with the voice and involvement of the child and parents isparamount in tackling this issue.