During the pandemic, our CSE Interventionist in Bromley has been working with young people remotely to develop their knowledge and awareness around exploitation and having safe and healthy relationships. The sessions aim to educate and equip young people to understand the risks of certain behaviours and the possible consequences.
In May, the topic of the month was online safety. Young people looked at topics such as what should and shouldn’t be posted on social media, speaking to unknown people via their profiles, appropriate and inappropriate pictures and fake profiles. S stated that it was not a good idea to post pictures of people that you don’t know online as you are not sure what the consequences may be for the other person. While discussing images taken from social media accounts that have not been set on private, and people creating fake social media accounts by using those images, R stated, "someone could be in a gang and not have a problem with a certain individual but if someone made a fake profile stating that they did indeed have an issue with this person, it could start a fight." The young people were able to share their tips on keeping safe. X suggested that if you want to know if a person is real, you can reverse image search, ask them for a live picture or try to video call.
In June, some of the young people discussed Sexting. They looked at different views and statements that others have made in regards to sexting, stereotypes, child pornography and the law. All of the young people noted that even though girls are blamed a lot for sending pictures/videos, they knew that there were a significant number that sent them to their boyfriends, unaware what could happen if they were to breakup. U stated, 'some people are tricked into sending pictures as well as feeling pressured.' While discussing why young people choose to sext even though they are aware of the consequences, T stated, 'some people get some sort of satisfaction from doing it and it could also be fulfilling their insecurities', while B noted, 'some people have a low self-esteem and want to prove themselves.' The young people learnt that if somebody is under 21 years old, the police will treat them as victims of sexting in the first instance however, if they are found to be sexting again this will be reviewed.