Victim Support is backing national Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day today by showing support to all victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and raising awareness about the issues surrounding it.

The day is being marked with the #Helpinghands campaign on social media. Twitter and Facebook users are encouraged to write a personal pledge on their hand as a way of showing support to victims of CSE.

Critical to this campaign is helping people to recognise the signs that a young person might be suffering this type of abuse.

Last year, Victim Support launched You & Co, a website aimed at supporting young victims and witnesses of crime, which has specific information for victims of child sexual exploitation and the help that is available.

Our You & Co workers visit schools to help students and teachers understand what CSE is and how to keep young people safe from it. Amanda, one of the You & Co workers, said:

“We help children to identify early warning signs so that they can tell us when things are not right, and we encourage children to think about who they can go to for help. We also let children know how we can work with their trusted adults to ensure that they are safe and protected.

“We have co-created the programme and piloted our approach with the students, parents and teachers at a number of schools. In September 2016 the programme will roll out across the country so that every school will have access to this vital support.”

If you think you might be affected by CSE, you can call our Supportline team for free and confidential information and support on 08 08 16 89 111.