A disproportionate number of victims of child sexual exploitation in Hounslow are Polish or from other Eastern European countries a council report reveals.
The report, which was presented before the council’s health and wellbeing board on Monday (July 16), highlights the worrying trend which mostly affects first generation immigrants.
According to children’s charity the NSPCC, child sexual exploitation, or CSE, can happen when young people may be tricked into believing they’re in a loving, consensual relationship when they are really being abused or exploited.
Some children and young people are also trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation and it can also happen to young people in gangs.
Victims might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed and exploited online.
Multi-agency groups working with Hounslow Council to tackle the problem, say they are trying to raise awareness of CSE within the Polish and other Eastern European communities and provide greater support for victims.
What are the signs a child is a victim?
Ealing Council put together this list of some of the signs to look out for:
*Unaffordable new things (clothes, mobile phones)
*Drug use, alcohol abuse
*Going missing from care/home, running away, homelessness
*Disengagement with school, not in school, truancy, exclusion
*Repeat sexually transmitted infections; in girls repeat pregnancy, terminations , miscarriage
*Inappropriate sexual behaviour or knowledge that is outside of what’s expected developmentally
*Sexually risk taking behaviour
*Association with older men or older boyfriends