The Safeguarding Board made Child Sexual Exploitation one of its first priorities when it started work.
As safeguarding is everyone’s business, the Safeguarding Board will raise awareness of the issue - through its member agencies and partners - with the public, parents, carers, children and young people, and professionals.
A review is also currently being undertaken by the Safeguarding Board on the experiences of 22 young people who have been the victims of Child Sexual Exploitation in Northern Ireland.
The More You Know The More You See
The More You Know The More You See Child Sexual Exploitation campaign has been adapted for use in Northern Ireland with the permission of Lancashire Constabulary.
As part of the first phase of the campaign, the area panels of the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI) hosted a number of workshop-style events. The events provided an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with local community groups and representatives in order to explore the nature of Child Sexual Exploitation in NI and equip participants with the knowledge and skills to identify and deal with the issue in their work with young people.
For the latter phase of the campaign, the Safeguarding Board worked with Alter Ego Creative Solutions, Parenting NI and Barnardo's NI to bring the CSE awareness raising play, Chelsea’s Choice, to Northern Ireland. The play toured a number of post primary schools across the region throughout April and into May 2015, raising discussion of its key themes of healthy relationships, safe internet use, risky behaviour, the grooming process, Child Sexual Exploitation, as well as where young people can go for help and advice. The performances were met with an enthusiastic response from both pupils, parents and professionals.
(MLA Jo-Anne Dobson with members of the CSE Knowledge Transfer Partnership NI at the launch of False Freedom)
Chelsea’s Choice provided a timely preamble to the recent launch of “False Freedom”, a resource developed as part of the programme of activities being undertaken by the CSE Knowledge Transfer Partnership NI.
‘False Freedom’ was created by young people who volunteered through Barnardo’s NI Safe Choices service which supports young people affected by sexual exploitation. The young people wrote and acted in the film which shows how grooming for exploitation can be played out in real life and depicts a young girl who finds herself in an exploitative relationship.
The aim of the DVD and the accompanying resource pack is to alert young people to the dangers around sexual exploitation and generate discussion about the issues with the aim of empowering young people to make safe choices for themselves.
The DVD and resource pack is free of charge and can be used in any setting from schools to youth clubs. These are available in the Resources section of the Safeguarding Board's website: http://www.safeguardingni.org/resources