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The Corporation

Posted: 17/03/16

College provides #HelpingHands

A display was manned, posters displayed and social media posts used at West Nottinghamshire College today (Friday 18 March) in support of the second National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day.

  • The college supported Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day.
  • A-Level students (from left) Olivia Daniells, Sophie Breen and Milly Green support the #HelpingHands campaign.
  • Olivia, Sophie and Milly were keen to show their support for this important issue.
  • The #HelpingHands campaign involved writing a personal pledge to help raise awareness.
  • Students' Union president Nick Golubs (left) and Rob Pearce from the sport development team both put their pledges forward.

Domestic abuse officers from Ashfield District Council and Mansfield District Council and a Community Partnerships representative hosted the display, providing information around the issue and details on where and how to report it.

Students and staff were invited to write a personal pledge on their hands to show support for national charity NWG Network’s #Helping Hands campaign. Photos of the pledges were posted on social media with the hashtag #HelpingHands.

The college's Students’ Union further supported the day by putting up CSE Awareness Day posters across all college sites in Ashfield and Mansfield. It also provided a TV screen in the atrium at the Derby Road site, where the stall was set up during the morning break and busy lunch-time period.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day aims to highlight the issues surrounding CSE; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children.

According to NWG, a network dedicated to helping combat CSE and raising awareness and providing information and support to voluntary and statutory services who fight it, 35% of all recorded sexual crimes in England and Wales in 2012/13 (53,540 overall) were child sexual exploitation of under-16s.
They also say that more than one in three of the children sexually abused by an adult kept their horrific secret to themselves. Four out of five children who experienced sexual contact from someone they knew were too terrified to tell.

Sarah Guy, domestic violence prevention officer at Mansfield District Council, who has helped organise the event on behalf of Ashfield Community Partnership and Mansfield Community Partnership (formerly MPAC), said: “When we asked the college if they would join with us in raising awareness around this issue, they said yes immediately. We all believe that by working together on this we will help get the message out that CSE is wrong and that it should be reported.”

Nick Golubs, the college's Students' Union president, said: "It's crucial we raise awareness about child sexual exploitation as it is a growing issue in Britain today. An increasing number of young, vulnerable people are being manipulated or coerced into doing things they wouldn't ordinarily agree to.

"Awareness-raising is critical in pointing out the ways in which vulnerable people can be drawn into CSE without realising the dangers. We also need to encourage the growing numbers of victims that there are people out there who are non-judgemental and are there to help."