health appHealth professionals can raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) with the help of a free educational app, launched by Barnado’s and Microsoft.

Wud U? aims to teach teach young people about risky situations that could leave them vulnerable to CSE, and how they can keep themselves safe.

The accessible, engaging app several interactive scenarios that a typical teenager may face and illustrates the circumstances that could leave young people vulnerable to sexual exploitation. The user is asked to think about what they would do in the same situation and they receive advice about the decisions they have made. It can be very easy for perpetrators to trap vulnerable children - they may receive food, accommodation, gifts as a result of performing sexual activities. This commoningly occurs through using the internet or mobile phones.

And those exploiting the child or young person have power over them because of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or resources.

Barnardo’s director Michelle Lee-Izu said: “Barnardo’s worked with more than 2,500 sexually exploited children last year and we see first-hand the devastating impact these crimes can have. We need to do everything we can to prevent this terrible abuse from happening, and a key part of that is giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe by getting themselves out of risky situations.”

To download the app, visit: http://www.barnardos.org.uk/what_we_do/our_projects/sexual_exploitation/wud-u.htm