Parents and Carers
Are you worried about your child or teenager?
- Do they stay out overnight?
- Have they been missing from home?
- Do they skip school?
- Have they come home with money, clothes, jewellery or a mobile phone they can’t account for?
- Do they have an older boyfriend or girlfriend you are concerned about?
- Are you worried they are using drugs or alcohol?
- Have they lost contact with family and friends of their own age?
- Do they lack self-esteem?
- Are they secretive about where they go and who they see?
- Do they chat to people online they have never met?
- Are you worried about unsafe sexual behaviour?
If this sounds familiar, your child could be at risk of sexual exploitation by older adults.
What should I do?
If you are worried about a child or young person, you must do something – but it may not be easy to find out what is going on from them.
Your child may have been told not to talk about what they are doing, or threatened with violence. Or they may think they have an exciting grown-up life with a boyfriend or girlfriend, which they don’t want to end.
Try to find a time to talk to them calmly about how they feel. Your child may open up, and admit they are unhappy about a part of their life. They may even admit they need help. But if they won’t talk to you, please do not let the matter drop. Is there someone else that you both trust that could talk to them – a grandparent or family friend, or someone from your local community? Tell the trusted person about your concerns and ask them to have a word.
Who can I contact?
Child sexual exploitation is a crime – the police and social services will act to stop it happening.