1. Support workers help arm young people with the knowledge and confidence to be more aware of the signs of grooming and CSE in the future – moving them to a place of emotional safety

Skipping school may be regarded part of growing up but Safe and Sound’s input has helped one young girl recognise that this was putting her at risk of CSE.

Sophie (not her real name) was 12 when her friend persuaded her to skip school with her and go into town.  Having a close relationship with her parents, she was afraid how they would react and the two girls did not pluck up the courage to return home until late that evening.

On other occasions, she was spending time with friends in an area which is on the police radar for being a potential ‘hotspot’ for sexual exploitation related crimes. Although thankfully nothing happened, this led to her being referred to Safe and Sound.

At first, Sophie didn’t realise how dangerous some of these situations could have been.

Work around the dangers of grooming helped her to recognise what could have happened and the next time her friend suggested they head back into town for the evening, she refused and persuaded her not to either.

Instead, she talked to her mum who was able to reinforce the dangers and further cement the open and honest relationship that they have developed.