As part of National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, Saturday March, 18, the public are being asked to write on their hands and post online with the hashtag #helpinghands to draw attention to the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation. (CSE)
Pace are the leading national charity working with parents and carers of sexually exploited children and work to safeguard against abuse.
Urging people to ‘say something if you see something’ the campaign aims to help people to spot the signs and take a zero tolerance approach to inappropriate relationships between older and younger people.
Coun Mike Chambers, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities said: “Everyone can get involved with the campaign by pledging their support to stopping the exploitation of children.
“Whilst incidents of CSE often make the headlines in the media, most incidents still go unreported – and they are happening every day.
“Children are at risk of being exploited no matter what their culture or background, and irrespective of whether they are a boy or a girl.
“Everyone can get involved in the campaign by pledging their support to STOP CSE.”
Harrogate District Community Safety Hub's Simon Aston and Nicki Dobson, the local parent liaison officer with Pace, will be handing out leaflets on Cambridge Street to promote the campaign on Wednesday, March 15 from 2 to 3pm.
Staff from the Hub have also been running a series of awareness sessions for other council staff to help safeguard against exploitation and abuse.
A parent’s guide to CSE detailing how parents can spot the signs and what to do if they suspect their children are being manipulated or exploited can be found at www.saferharrogate.org.uk