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Child Exploitation Warning

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6:01am 19th November 2013

There is a warning children can be sexually exploited in Cornwall just the same as anywhere else in Britain.
It is as new campaign is launched in the Duchy to protect our kids from things like grooming and gangs. 

Advice is being handed out on warning signs and who could be most vulnerable.

David Ellis is from the Duchy's safeguarding team. He said: "Rather than think it can't happen here - yes it can. If it does, there's reassurance to the community that there's a huge amount of work that's being done, is still being done and we can take appropriate action.

"If you do see something, say something. Safeguarding is everybody's responsibility. We live in a very safe part of the world, most children are safe - most children in Cornwall are safe."

Experts say it is important for everyone to be aware of possible indicators of exploitation. The lists below are not exhaustive, but contain warning signs and typical vulnerability factors.

*Missing from home or care and/or absent from school

*Involvement in offending

*Drug or alcohol misuse

*Repeat STIs, pregnancies & terminations

*Poor mental health, self harm and/or thoughts or attempts at suicide

*Receipt of gifts from unknown sources

*Changes in physical appearance and/or physical injuries

*Evidence of sexual bullying and/or vulnerability through the internet and/or social networking sites

*Estranged from their family

*Recruiting others into exploitative situations

The following are typical vulnerability factors in young people; however it is important to remember that young people from any background may become victims of sexual exploitation:

*Living in a chaotic or dysfunctional household (including parental substance abuse, domestic abuse, criminality etc.)

*History of abuse

*Recent bereavement or loss

*Gang association (either through relatives, peers or intimate relationships)

*Learning disabilities

*Associating with other young people who are victims of CSE

*Uncertainty about their sexual orientation or identity and/or unable to disclose this to their families

*Living in residential care

*Lack of friends from the same age group

*Homeless or living in a hostel, B&B or a foyer

*Low self esteem or confidence

6:01am 19th November 2013

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