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Jersey joins fight against child sexual exploitation

Jersey joins fight against child sexual exploitation

Sunday 18 March 2018

Jersey joins fight against child sexual exploitation

Sunday 18 March 2018

Local organisations and senior leaders in Jersey are joining forces to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation from today as part of the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) National Awareness Day.

In 2017, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) assessed and managed 25 cases of suspected and potential cases of CSE.

Stewart Gull, Detective Superintendent, vice chair of Jersey’s Safeguarding Partnership Board and lead for CSE, said: "There remains no evidence of organised sexual grooming here in Jersey and the effectiveness of strong awareness and partnership working indicates incidents of CSE remain low.”

The Jersey Safeguarding Partnership Board is leading the campaign with support from the Police, the Youth Service, senior civil servants and politicians as well as Jersey’s new Children’s Commissioner.

Mr Gull said: “The safeguarding of children in Jersey is everybody’s business. Any child can be sexually exploited no matter what culture, ethnicity, religion, whether a boy or a girl from any background.

“Jersey is joining the National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day on 18 March and this week we will be encouraging senior leaders and figures in Jersey to raise awareness and join the conversation on social media. #CSEDay18. Together we can create a mass awareness and zero tolerance of Child Sexual Exploitation."

Awareness of child sexual exploitation is being raised through a campaign asking people to write personal pledges on their hands and share on social media. 

Islanders are being asked to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance approach to inappropriate relationships between children and adults and between children and their peers.

National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) by encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse where adults might be developing inappropriate relationships with children or young people might be forming inappropriate sexual relationships with their peers.

Kristina Moore, Home Affairs Minister, has added her support to the CSE campaign. She said: “Although the number of Child Sexual Exploitation cases in Jersey is small, it is a real issue that needs to be taken seriously. This is why it is so important to raise awareness. Currently many Islanders will be under the impression that CSE does not happen here, however recent cases have shown that children are becoming victims – and many do not even realise it themselves.

“There are a lot of agencies and support for victims of this type of crime in Jersey which affects people from every different background and ethnicity.”

The Jersey Youth Service have designed new CSE leaflets and booklets which young people, professionals and parents have helped put together. They provide details on what CSE is, signs to look out for and where to get help.

Sarah Walker, senior youth worker and team leader for CSE, said: “This national day is the perfect opportunity for us to raise awareness in our community about CSE and to educate our young people so they know where they can get help if they need it. 

“Between 12 and 23 March the Jersey Youth Service team will be working in our secondary schools to raise awareness. We will be doing an Assembly to various year groups from Year 9 upwards and we will be taking a lunchtime interactive information stall to our secondary schools and colleges so that young people have the chance to ask questions."

Three" hard-hitting" commercials have also been filmed by local company Freedom Media in locations including Parade Gardens, the skate park, Noirmont and outside the Brook clinic. They focus on the stories of three girls who are led down a path by an older boy who they believe cares for them, but are in fact being exploited. They will be shown on TV and on social media to raise awareness of CSE and the impact it is having on Jersey. The commercials will link in to a longer video available online which shows how all of the girl’s stories overlap. 

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