From Safer Cornwall
National Child Exploitation Awareness Day 18 March
Tackling exploitation is a high priority for partners in Cornwall. Exploitation is where someone takes unfair advantage of others to gain something for themselves. It occurs when a person is persuaded to do things in exchange for something that they need or want (coercion), or threatened or forced to do things by people with more power than them – this can be someone of a similar age to the child or young adult being exploited, as well as an adult. It can include being made to provide sexual acts (sexual exploitation) and/or to commit crimes such as theft, benefit fraud, or dealing, carrying or growing drugs (known as criminal exploitation).
Commonly children and young adults think that they have a free choice in their involvement, but when the people exploiting them have more power than they do, we do not believe that this is a free choice. The methods the exploiters use include ‘grooming’ where someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a person so that they can exploit them; coercion; control; manipulation and threats. Children and young adults can also be experiencing exploitation and taking part in abusive behaviours towards others at the same time – exploitation is never the victim’s fault.
Our new Child Exploitation Strategy for the next 3 years (which covers ages up to 25 years) is being published in April 2020 and we are also supporting the National Child Exploitation Awareness Day on 18 March 2020 which aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Exploitation; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out.
Look out for our social media campaign – one of the ways you can show your support to the awareness day is to write a personal pledge on your hands and post your photo on social media with the hashtag #CEADay20 to help us raise awareness of child exploitation.
The National events around National Child Exploitation Awareness Day are being co-ordinated by Stop CSE and you can find resources on their website, including posters, banners, logos and web images for your own use on their website.