People encouraged to speak out about child abuse

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Wakefield Council is encouraging people to speak out about child abuse and to report it.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation, and, or, the coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

A child can be sexually exploited no matter what culture, ethnicity, religion, or background they are from, or whether they are a boy or a girl.

Council officials along with partners from the police, health and other agencies will be in Wakefield city centre on Friday, March 17, ahead of Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Raising Day on March 18.

They will be talking to people and distributing leaflets with information on what to do if they suspect a child is being abused.

Elsewhere across the district, similar events will be taking place in local markets, on Monday, March 20 in Castleford; Tuesday,March 21 in South Elmsall; Wednesday, March 22 in Pontefract; Thursday, March 23 in Wakefield city centre and on Friday, March 24 in Ossett.

Coun Olivia Rowley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Wakefield Council, said: “Everyone has a role to play in raising awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation. Safeguarding children is everybody’s business, and it is very important that we all recognise that we do need to talk about this issue to protect children from abuse.”

The campaign highlights that it is essential for all people to adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.

Anyone with any concerns about a child needs to call: 0345 8 503 503 and for further information visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/tackleabusetogether
Anyone worried about a child’s immediate safety should contact the Police by calling 999.