Coronavirus, an update from Active Cornwall

Child Exploitation Awareness Campaign

Safeguarding

The Safeguarding Children Partnership and the Safeguarding Adults Board have launched 'CE the Signs', a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The aim of this campaign is to increase public understanding of child exploitation, raise awareness of the signs and indicators to watch out for and to educate people on the routes for reporting concerns. Through the campaign, they aim to encourage people to take a second look at any signs that they spot and ask themselves: could it be exploitation?

The primary target audience will be all adults across Cornwall and IoS with links to children and young adults, however, we will also have some tailored content aimed at raising awareness amongst young adults themselves.

The core campaign messages are:

  • The exploitation of children and young adults is often a hidden crime and takes many different forms, whether sexual, criminal, or online. 
  • Regardless of what form it takes, the risks that children and young adults face at the hands of perpetrators of exploitation are very real and must be stopped.
  • Children and young adults who are being exploited don't always 'look' vulnerable and may not 'act' like victims.
  • Any child or young person could be exploited; however, some vulnerabilities make it more likely.
  • There are a number of signs and indicators which could suggest that a child or YP is being exploited
  • Exploitation can happen anywhere, but there are a number of locations where you're more likely to spot victims, and it happens in Cornwall too.
  • We must work together to stop child exploitation. We do this by learning the signs and reporting anything that doesn't seem right.
  • It doesn't matter if you're not completely certain. Anything that you tell us could be vital in helping to keep children and young adults safe from exploitation.

Campaign material - what they are we doing?
This will be a month-long campaign with activity happening across a number of different channels and platforms. They will have a media and PR campaign, a social media advertising campaign, bus stop adverts in 10 key locations across Cornwall, screens at RCHT and downloadable posters and flyers for use by partners. In addition to this, content will be shared across partner channels and we will be using the social media hashtag #CEtheSigns.

How can you get involved?
Raising the profile of child exploitation, understanding the dangers and learning the signs to look out for is everyone's responsibility. There are a number of things that you can do to get involved and to help to support this campaign.

  1. Talk about the campaign - our aim for the campaign is to raise awareness of the hidden dangers of child exploitation, educate people on the potential signs and increase understanding of how things can be reported/how important it is to report anything that doesn't seem right. You can champion and support this campaign by talking to those you know about it - whether that's colleagues, friends or family members.  
  2. Promote the resources- please share campaign messages on social media, highlight the campaign within your organisation's internal communications channels and share information via external communications channels.
  3. Learn the signs of child exploitation - we are asking all partners to make sure they've educated themselves on the potential signs of child exploitation and what to do if something's not right. 
  4. Visit the website - please visit the website and familiarise yourself with all of the resources available and share with those you know. There will be posters available to download and print, as well as a range of social media resources. We would encourage you to share these where possible.

Social media
They will be posting across the Cornwall Council social media channels for the duration of the campaign. We would encourage all campaign partners to get involved by sharing, liking and engaging with our posts or creating your own posts using the graphics provided. Some suggested wording includes:
Please remember to use the hashtag - #CEtheSigns - to help us to track and share posts across different channels. 

They will share an example social media schedule with partners which will give dates/times and suggestions for posting. We would encourage partners to adapt these messages to suit their channels and audience groups - whilst ensuring posting retains key campaign messaging.

Where can I find more information?
You can find more information on the campaign, and access of host of free resources, by visiting https://ciossafeguarding.org.uk/cethesigns

The future of the campaign
We will continue to build up a bank of safeguarding campaigns over the next 12-months and continue to raise awareness of the issue of child exploitation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

After the campaign's completion in November, we will evaluate performance to establish our impact, the key successes and challenges, and apply learnings to the development of subsequent campaigns.

Who should I speak to if I have questions on the campaign?