Research has shown that on average it takes seven years for children to disclose sexual abuse as they either have no one they trust to turn to, no one who listens or no one who asks.
Lincolnshire Police are today joining up with other Forces and the charity NWG Network to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and encourage people not to ignore the signs.
This will build on the work they already do with the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board, who they work closely with year round, and their other partners.
Superintendent Rick Hatton, Head of the Lincolnshire Police Public Protection Unit said: “The sexual exploitation of children is not only an issue for the Police, it’s a potential threat to every child so we all need to be aware of the signs. Everyone should also be prepared to act should they be presented with the signs. The average seven years that it takes a victim to disclose the abuse could be seven years of torment for that victim, and seven years where the offender continues to abuse them, and others.”
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick said: “Sadly, not a day goes by without reports of child sexual exploitation. There is no doubt in my mind that it is one of the greatest evils of society. Every effort should be made to stamp it out, and every reasonable person should play their part in doing just that.”
The Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner are joining the National campaign to spread awareness by writing a message on their hands.