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Raising Awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation

South Tyneside Safeguarding Children Partnership has joined forces with the Council to call on people to pledge their support to a national campaign aimed at spotting and speaking out against child sexual exploitation.

In the run up to National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, next Wednesday (18 March), people are being encouraged to support the Helping Hands campaign by writing a message on their hands and posting it on social media with the message #HelpingHands and #CSEDay20.

Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse that involves manipulating or coercing a person under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

"We want people to help us get the message across that this is completely unacceptable and that we adopt a zero tolerance approach to adults who form inappropriate relationships with children.

"It is important that we support this campaign to inform, educate and prevent this form of child abuse."

The Safeguarding Children Partnership is distributing burgundy ribbons across the Borough to raise the issue of child sexual exploitation and encourage open and honest discussion about the issue.

South Shields Town Hall will also be lit up burgundy to mark the day.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, added: "It is important that we support this campaign to raise awareness of this abhorrent crime. 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 them to report any concerns they have directly to the police."

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