‘Any child can be sexually exploited’

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Last year, 25 cases of suspected or potential cases of child sexual exploitation were assessed by the police.

And as part of this year’s National Awareness Day on Sunday, a range of organisations and senior leaders in Jersey are joining forces to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation this week.

Islanders are being asked to think, spot and speak out against abuse as senior civil servants and politicians, police, the Jersey Youth Service and Jersey’s new Children’s Commissioner join the fight against child sexual exploitation.

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

Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull, vice chair of Jersey’s Safeguarding Partnership Board, 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.

‘In 2017, our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub assessed and managed 25 suspected and potential cases of child sexual exploitation. 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.’

Three TV commercials, which will be airing on Channel TV and across social media, will tell the story of three girls who are increasingly led down a path by an older boy, while leaflets and booklets designed by the Jersey Youth Service will be handed out which give details on signs to spot and where to get help.

Home Affairs Minister Kristina Moore 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 child sexual exploitation does not happen here, however recent cases have shown that children are becoming victims – and many do not even realise it themselves.’

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