Year 10 have spent some sessions in Community Studies looking at exploitation and coercion. This is an important safeguarding topic and is also part of the healthy relationships unit based on the new statutory RSE content for the next academic year. The resource used has been produced by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP), which helps young people learn to stay safe from sexual exploitation. It educates young people in how to identify features of an exploitative friendship or relationship in contrast with the development of a healthy relationship and gives them clear information about how to report abuse and access support. This is based on a set of learning points promoting awareness and positive behaviours. It aims to help young people learn:
• That in a good relationship, both people want what’s best for each other.
• That some people make you think they are your friend, boyfriend or girlfriend but really they are using you e.g. for money, status or sex.
• That some people make young people feel special (e.g. giving them gifts or paying them compliments) in order to gain control over them.
• That some people use pressure and threats to try to gain control over others.
• How to tell when a situation is unsafe and set boundaries about what you want to do and don’t want to do.
• How to tell if someone wants a relationship with you for the right or wrong reasons.
• That there are many people who can support you if you feel at risk, including teachers, parents/carers, and organisations like CEOP and Childline.
Students watched the video ‘Exploited’ as part of the sessions which is available to view on YouTube. They also used the characters of the video to discuss the learning points and finished with a story board on their understanding of exploitation.
Community Studies Co-ordinator