The challenge of keeping children and young people safe from child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a priority in today’s society. Sexual exploitation has been highlighted in the West Yorkshire Police Crime Plan as a hidden problem that can manifest itself in different ways.

There is a clear need for every agency with the responsibility for children across West Yorkshire to work together to raise awareness of and tackle this serious problem.

Personal Architecture

The prevention and interventions that support young people who are already being sexually exploited or those who are considered to be at high risk are paramount, however one of the issues we face as professionals is that demand is so high for support, not enough is available for those young people who are at a low to medium risk of exploitation.

We believe that in order to challenge this hidden problem we need to deliver a programme that raises awareness of the issue and equips young people with the information and confidence to make informed decisions. Our resources pack use scenarios to highlight the issues surrounding CSE but after each scene participants are asked if the person acted out of Innocence or Ignorance. Each scene sets up a situation and participants will be asked to identify the potential risks the characters may encounter. The films are used as discussion tools and after each scene participants will be asked to share their opinions on the consequences the characters may encounter.

The fictional scenarios are based on real life events and aim to facilitate group discussion around internet safety, relationships and CSE. The films and resources will be used within our wider programme that covers:

1) What is sexual exploitation? / Understanding the stages of grooming
2) Early warning signs/Helping Hand
3) Danger Line/Positive and negative relationships
4) Consent and the Law/ What’s legal and what’s not?
5) Who Grooms? / How at risk am I?
6) Can young men be groomed?
7) My dangerous lover boy
8) Sick party

We will look at the group and the individual and offer tailored sessions where we think these would be useful. Some of these would include:

1) What is sexual exploitation? / Understanding the stages of grooming
2) Early warning signs/Helping Hand
3) Danger Line/Positive and negative relationships
4) Consent and the Law/ What’s legal and what’s not?
5) Who Grooms? / How at risk am I?
6) Can young men be groomed?
7) My dangerous lover boy
8) Sick party