Never Too Late to Tell

ITV’s Loose Women peaked my attention today when they began talking about grooming and our children being subjected to child sexual exploitation.

They quoted figures of 420 men being reported DAILY for sexually abusing young people; both girls and boys.

No culture, ethnicity or religion is immune.

Working with young people and their parents, this is an important subject for me and my clients and can, so easily be overlooked, especially if it does not appear to be happening in our family.

But, the question is how do you know? Can you be so sure?

So, I wanted to list some of the points to help anyone who receives my posts to read and pass onto anyone they feel would benefit from the information.

So, as a parent, what signs do you need to look out for to protect your children

1) Changes in their clothing, make-up, friendship group
2) Secretive phone calls
3) Unexplained, extended and frequent absences from home or school – missing
4) Skipping school
5) A drop in school grades
6) Changes in their behaviour, sleep pattern, mood, etc

Grooming and abuse can take place in our own homes – under our noses. This means our children will not be or feel safe in the very place where their safety should be assured.

Therefore, be mindful of who you trust around your children and the amount of time they spend alone and where they spend that time.

Get to know new ‘friends’ and ‘boyfriends’ and keep an open mind on who that person really is

Listen to children and watch their responses to others. They may not be able to say anything to you, but if you are aware of their interactions and how your child feels around them, it might make their lives a bit easier. It is easier for you to say ‘no’ as their parent and as an adult, than for your child to have to tell them ‘no’.

Keep the lines of communication open, because you want to know that your child can and will confide in you if they need to.

Trust and follow your gut and and teach your child to do the same. This one point alone might save you both a world of heartbreak.

This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch but if anyone or a combination of these points help or make you think, then all power to you xx