BOROUGH residents are being urged to make a personal pledge to help tackle child sexual exploitation.
The call comes from Solihull Council and other local authorities in the region which have been driving the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness day campaign.
The event which has been backed by West Midlands Police as well as councils from Dudley, Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton will take place tomorrow (Friday).
Organised by National Working Group – a charity dedicated to helping combat CSE, the day aims to encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse.
On the day people will be asked to write a personal pledge on their hands and then post a photo of it on social media using the hashtag #HelpingHands.
The pledge can be anything from speaking out to educating others.
To show the weight of support the campaign has across the borough Solihull Council is asking people to post their photos to one of the following accounts www.facebook.com/SeeMeHearMeWM on Facebook, @SeeMeHearMeWM on Twitter or @SeeMeHearMe on Instagram.
The campaign aims to increase people’s understanding of child sexual exploitation and how to spot the warning signs in a child or young person’s behaviour that may indicate something is wrong.
Warning signs of CSE include having friends who are older, persistently going missing, secretive relationships with unknown adults, truancy from school, chronic fatigue, constant calls on a mobile phone and the possession of money or new things.
Coun Ken Meeson, who is responsible for health and wellbeing, said child sexual exploitation was a horrific abuse crime and everyone had a role in helping to prevent it.
He added: “Through our See Me, Hear Me campaign we have been increasing people’s understanding of CSE and how to spot the warning signs, so the national awareness day is a great way to spread the message further.
“I’d encourage everyone to please get involved. Think about what you can do in the fight against CSE, make a personal pledge, post a photo on social media and then act on what you’ve decided to do.
“Working together we can make more people aware of how to spot the warning signs and help protect our children from this abuse.”
Visit www.stop-cse.org for more.