Police are highlighting the potential consequences of sending nude selfies in a Sussex-wide campaign for National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day.
The awareness day, which falls tomorrow (Saturday, March 18), encourages everyone to think, spot and speak out against child sexual abuse, a spokesman said.
The more we all know about CSE, the more likely we can spot the signs and take actionDetective Superintendent Jason Tingley
Sussex Police’s campaign will involve digital audio ads being played across a variety of streaming platforms and radio stations, targeted at young people between the ages of 11 to 17, the spokesman said.
Later this month, animations will also be released on Sussex Police’s Snapchat account (Sussex_Police).
These will be told from the perspective of a child or young person, and will highlight the potential consequences of sending nude selfies, the spokesperson said.
They will tell the story of a child sending a nude selfie and, as a result, becoming the victim of blackmail and exploitation, said the spokesperson.
The story was created after considerable consultation with children and young people at youth services across Sussex.
People are being asked to make personal pledges on Saturday on how they can help raise awareness and ensure the issue of child sexual exploitation is not ignored.
Detective Superintendent Jason Tingley said: “The more we all know about CSE, the more likely we can spot the signs and take action.
“I urge everyone to get involved by writing a pledge on the palm of your hand and share it on social media with the hashtag #HelpingHands.
“This highlights the commitment to and support for the day, as well as the good work that police forces, councils and charities are doing to help support victims and identify perpetrators of CSE.”
Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It’s vital that we unite to encourage everyone to speak out against abuse so that victims know they are not alone and perpetrators understand that it will never be tolerated.
“I remain steadfast in my commitment to supporting victims and their families who are subjected to child sexual exploitation.”
Sussex Police’s campaign is run with the support of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB).
To find out more about the National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, visit: www.stop-cse.org/national-child-exploitation-awareness-day/.
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