Barnardo’s Support The Unsupported

Barnardo’s have launched a hard-hitting TV advert highlighting child sexual exploitation. The charity is warning parents to be aware of the tell-tale signs their children may be vulnerable to abuse, arguing that teenagers desire to fit it, alongside the wish to experiment can make them vulnerable to being exploited.



A snapshot survey of 29 Barnado’s specialist services in September last year noted that technology was used in the exploitation of 370 children, with young people telling them that they had been targeted via social networks, instant messaging apps, photo sharing apps such as Snapchat, dating apps, and via online gaming.




I have three children. The toddler is of course too young to go on these sites, but it won’t be long before the ten year old wants to, and my 17 year old, like many teenagers, spends a lot of time on social media. She is at a very difficult age in terms of parental interference, at almost 18 it is neither practical, not reasonable for me to have passwords to her social media accounts like I did when she was younger. She needs her privacy, but I need to know she is safe. Of course we have had the conversations about internet safety, and of course school did too. I think she is pretty savvy, but sadly nobody is infallible, so I have noted the top three signs that Barnado’s recommend parents look out for:

  • Changes in behaviour including regular episodes of staying out late or not returning home.
  • Unexplained gifts or possessions, such as expensive new smart phones.
  • Noticing the extent of your child’s online life and how they use technology.

Barnardo’s have a free downloadable guide for parents available here with more advice and help, and to find out more about Barnardo’s crisis campaign visit there website here. Anything we can do as parents to help prevent this happening to more children has got to be a good thing, and I am grateful there are charities such as Barnardo’s to help both prevent and to provide vital assistance to recovering victims.

Love Miss Cisco XXX





  1. March 15, 2014 / 8:51 am

    It’s adverts like this that make you stop and think. Thank you for writing this post. I worry about internet safety with my 15 year old, as there is so much information and ways to be manipulated at his fingertips. I like to think that I have taught him well, but like you say, nobody is infallible.
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  2. March 15, 2014 / 9:14 am

    The Internet, as much as we love it, is such a scary and potentially dangerous place. I am strict with what my 9yo can access, he would say I’m too strict but I am so scared that he might accidently stumble across something or even worse someone inappropriate. It is worrying some of the things that come up with an innocent Google search x
    Kirsty Hijacked By Twins recently posted…Word of the Week 14/03/14My Profile

  3. March 15, 2014 / 11:18 am

    Its scary to think your children can be exploited whilst sitting in the same room as you, since the age of technology. I am the same with my twin teens, worried for a couple of years. My daughter and I I have each others logins happily as we have a good b0nd, my son has only just accepted I won’t be a a pain on FB. The watch list is a good one to read.
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  4. March 15, 2014 / 1:44 pm

    It is so frightening that we even have to consider this, but so necessary. Luckily my eldest isn’t quite three yet so we have a couple of years at least before this becomes an issue!
    Rachel @ activities4kidz recently posted…Catching Stars Water PlayMy Profile

  5. March 15, 2014 / 3:22 pm

    This is a subject that really scares me, I have many years before Baby will be on the internet but I am so concerned about exploitation x
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted…Mums’ List #1My Profile

  6. March 15, 2014 / 4:10 pm

    things like this truly scare me. i really don’t even know what to say, but i agree it’s very important to raise awareness on this subject and others related.
    laura redburn recently posted…snapshots of my week – 15th marchMy Profile

  7. March 15, 2014 / 7:29 pm

    Thank you for this, it is a scary thought just what lurks out there. My little boy is too young but as he has autism it is something I will be mindful of as he gets older as I think perhaps he will be more vulnerable than his peers.
    Sam @happyhomebird recently posted…Forest LessonsMy Profile

  8. March 15, 2014 / 8:24 pm

    I am so worried about this for when my girls get older. I don’t think it is easy for any parent and i just hope i can get the message across to them before they get to the stage where they are using social media x
    Keri-Anne recently posted…The blossom treeMy Profile

  9. March 15, 2014 / 10:50 pm

    It scares me how fast the world of social media changes, its probably 8-10 years until my son will want to be active there and I wonder how much things will have changed by then. I’m so glad charities like Barnardos are addressing the issue, it;s important work.
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  10. March 15, 2014 / 11:03 pm

    It is getting harder and harder to keep our childern safe with all the social media out there. Kind of very scary when you think about all that can happen.

  11. March 15, 2014 / 11:38 pm

    This is something all parents should be concerned about. I hope the new adverts remind everyone of what to look out for. No one can risk being complacent these days.
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  12. March 16, 2014 / 9:07 am

    Terrified of what is available so easily. My children are only small, but wo’nt be forever so grateful to people like you for keeping these things in discussion

  13. March 16, 2014 / 10:26 am

    I’m not looking forward to Emmy growing up but am glad there are things like this available to help parents understand and to teach their children
    Emmys Mummy recently posted…Easter Birds Nests – RecipeMy Profile

  14. March 16, 2014 / 10:39 am

    It is very important that all parents are aware of this. I monitor everything my son does on the internet but he’s only six years old. I hope I will be able to teach him how to keep safe on the net as he gets older. Thank you for sharing this post 🙂
    Bek recently posted…Cycle Safety AwarenessMy Profile

  15. March 16, 2014 / 10:45 am

    Not a day goes by when I don’t think about how I am going to keep my child safe. I am disgusted by the fact that there are horrible persons out there ready to prey on young people. We all have to be vigilant for our kids. At all times.
    VaiChin @Rambling Through Parenthood recently posted…Sunday 16/03/2014My Profile

  16. March 16, 2014 / 6:43 pm

    Sometimes I look at my children and I just can’t comprehend that anyone could ever do anything to hurt a child. It’s so hard to get your head round.

    Thanks for sharing x
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  17. March 17, 2014 / 8:23 am

    Working in a school it brings it home to me as well as having my own child.
    ninja cat recently posted…Nana CoolMy Profile

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