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Teaming up to tackle child sexual exploitation

Press Release: 19/06/2017

 
SPORTS clubs and coaches across Tameside are teaming up with the council, police and health to take a stand against child sexual exploitation.

Throughout the multi-agency It’s Not Okay in Sport week of action from 19-25 June there will be events, training and awareness raising across the borough to help ensure everyone who works and volunteers with children in sport know how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation and how to report it and get help.

Sports clubs will also be encouraged to sign and display an ‘It’s Not Okay’ charter, reinforcing their commitment to tackling and preventing child sexual exploitation from happening on their watch.

Child sexual exploitation is child abuse. Abusers manipulate their victims into taking part in sexual activity in different ways – grooming their victims with attention or gifts, or by using coercive, controlling behaviour, and sometimes force.

The Greater Manchester It’s Not Okay campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation is highlighting sport for the week of action as an ideal way to reach young people and raise awareness across the wider community.
In Tameside, sports clubs, coaches, volunteers and parents have been invited to a children’s safeguarding event at Curzon Ashton on Wednesday 21 June. The It’s Not Okay Tameside team will also be taking part in the Tour of Tameside running event as well as visiting schools, clubs, Active Tameside centres and sports festivals to spread safety messages.

Tameside Council Executive Member for Children & Families Cllr Peter Robinson said: “So many children and young people and their families are regularly involved in sport in Tameside so this is a fantastic opportunity to reach them with safety messages while also working with the sporting community to ensure they know how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation and how to report it and support children.”

Detective Superintendent Joanne Rawlinson from Greater Manchester Police said: “Greater Manchester is a fantastic place for sport and we want to celebrate this while ensuring it is a safe space for children and young people.

“Allegations of historical child sex abuse within sport has recently been highlighted nationally and it is important that people feel able to come forward regardless of whether the abuse happened 10 years ago or 10 days ago.

“Children and young people may choose to confide in their coach and it is vital that staff know how to respond to a child who may turn to them for help.”

To report child sexual exploitation, call police on 101 or 999 if a child is in immediate danger. Alternatively, visit www.itsnotokay.co.uk to find contact details for local ‘It’s Not Okay’ team.

Sports organisations can download a charter from www.itsnotokay.co.uk.  Join in the conversation online using the hashtag #ItsNotOkayInSport
 
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