24/08/2011 08:00 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Barnardo's Launch New Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Campaign

Sexual exploitation Getty

Barnardo's children's charity is launching a major new awareness campaign to help parents and young people spot the signs of child sexual exploitation, and help those who are suffering.

The charity worked with more than 1,000 victims of child exploitation last year, but believe this is just a fraction of those actually suffering, despite just 38 per cent of U K adults believing abuse is happening in their town or city.

According to the chariity, signs of a child being sexually exploited include:

  • Going missing for long periods of time

  • Regularly returning home late

  • Appearing with unexpected gifts or new possessions

  • Behaving in an inappropriately sexual way

  • Associating with older teenagers or adults

Less than half of parents surveyed by Barnardo's were able to spot the subtle signs, like coming home late and associating with older teenagers and adults, and one in four dads weren't confident they would be able to spot dangerous relationships developing, compared to one in six mums.

For more info on spotting signs of exploitation and abuse visit