CORONATION Street and Emmerdale have all recently tackled the difficult subject of child sexual exploitation.

CSE Awareness Day was on Monday, March 18, and the NSPCC is encouraging everyone to think about, recognise and speak out against the sexual exploitation of children so we can help to protect children and prosecute offenders.

CSE victims rely on others to spot the signs and help them because they may find it difficult to talk about what is happening to them.

Signs can be difficult to spot but may include going missing from home, care or education; being fearful of certain people or situations; having older boyfriends or girlfriends, or getting involved in gangs.

The effects of CSE, which can be devastating, can include mental health problems, alcohol and drug misuse, and criminal activity.

Adults worried a child is a victim of, or is at risk of, CSE can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children can call Childline on 0800 1111. If a child is in immediate danger then please don’t delay - dial 999.

Helen Westerman NSPCC