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Social Media Helps Prevent Child Exploitation

The More You Know The More You See

This Wednesday (March 18th) is Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day and there are many ways you can get involved and raise awareness simply by using your social media accounts.

stop-cse.org

Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse where adults manipulate young people under the age of 18 into taking part in any kind of sexual activity. The aim of the awareness day is to get people to speak out and to educate others on what to do if a child is at risk, to not bury our heads in the sand about exploitation and to say something, if you see something.

It seems fitting that social media makes the effort to prevent this sort of thing from happening, as it has undoubtedly made grooming and stalking of young people easier over the recent years.

The Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board has started up a campaign which asks for online personal pledges from staff, public, local leaders and professionals.

You can pledge by using the hashtag #HelpingHands and then simply make a pledge saying how you plan to tackle child sexual exploitation.

Meanwhile, Hull City and East Riding’s football community has created the #Notinourcommunity hashtag. The campaign plans to identify victims of child sex exploitation and highlight behaviours and actions that could indicate when a child is under threat.

Mil Vasic, director of children and adult services at Hull City Council, says: “Young people who are being exploited often don’t understand it until much later on.” By which point, it can often be too late and difficult to escape.

By spreading awareness, it will hopefully help parents notice the signs and more children become aware of the dangers that are out there. As more and more young people join social media it seems worthwhile to keep increasing the awareness through a medium that they will use.

There has been some reassuring research recently that is suggesting teenagers are becoming tired of the lack of privacy social media presents them with.

The fact that Snapchat is becoming more popular with young people, instead of Facebook and Twitter speaks volumes on this matter. They are choosing to go to a network with higher privacy protection which is combined with the knowledge that everything is erased after a short amount of time.

There is also the Facebook phenomenon amongst young people called “vague-booking” where teens deliberately post vague statements that give little to no information away. Then it is up to their friends to privately message them, if they wish to know more.

So, on March 18th, remember to do your bit to raise awareness. We all know several young people but we don’t all know what kinds of threat they may be under.

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF
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Social Media Helps Prevent Child Exploitation Reviewed by Megan Herdson on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 Rating: 5
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