Councillors in South Tyneside are encouraging people to lend a hand to a national campaign aimed at spotting and speaking out against child sexual exploitation.
To mark the national awareness day next Monday (18 March), people are being urged to support the Helping Hands campaign by writing a message on their hands and posting it on social media with the message #HelpingHands and #CSEDay19.
Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.
Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "Child sexual exploitation is completely indefensible and we take a zero tolerance approach to anyone who commits this abhorrent crime.
"It is important that we support this campaign to inform, educate and prevent this form of child abuse."
Working in partnership the Local Safeguarding Children Board and the Youth Justice Service are distributing burgundy ribbons across the Borough to raise the issue of child sexual exploitation and encourage open and honest discussion about the issue.
Councillor Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, added: "We are committed to working with our partners to keep young people safe. However, we need the public to be our eyes and ears on the ground and would urge anyone who sees an adult forming an inappropriate relationship with a child to report it and speak out."
The Town Hall will be lit up in burgundy on Monday to mark the day.