Police say there are warning signs for parents and carers to look out for, which may indicate their child is the victim of sexual abuse:

• Regularly being missing from home or school and staying out all night
• Change in behaviour – becoming aggressive and disruptive or quiet and withdrawn.
• Unexplained gifts or new possessions such as clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or money that can’t be accounted for.
• Increased mobile phone use or secretive use
• Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Being picked up or dropped off in cars by unknown adults
• A significantly older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘friend’ or lots of new friends
• Spending excessive amount of time online and becoming increasingly secretive about time spent online
• Sudden involvement in criminal behaviour or increased offending
• Sexual health problems

Advice is available from:

  • The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) - www.ceop.police.uk or 0870 000 3344
  • NSPCC  0808 800 5000
  • Childline  0800 1111
  • Barnados  0208 550 8822
  • Parents Against Child Exploitation www.PACEUK.inf