THE shocking reality of how abusers groom young people is the focus of a new campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.

The hard-hitting animation from the regional see me, hear me partnership focuses on the warning signs of this hidden crime.

Following the story of a young girl, it shows how those around her, her teacher, her friend and her dad, notice changes in her behaviour.

It then turns to the abuser who describes how he grooms her with gifts, alcohol and affection before abusing her, adding ‘the warning signs were there.’

The animation is being shown on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as 30 second clips with the full version available on the campaign website

Councillor Anne Millward, cabinet member for children’s services at Dudley Council, said: “Being aware of the warning signs is one of our most effective weapons in tackling this vile crime.

“A change in behaviour may appear just normal teenage behaviour, but for some these could be the signs of something far more serious.

“The young person may feel they’re in a loving relationship, but the abuser will be manipulating them, drawing them away from their family and friends.

“CSE can affect both girls and boys and being aware of the warning signs, and acting on them early, can help prevent abuse happening or escalating.

“I would urge people to visit our website to watch the film in full. 

"The site contains a wealth of information about CSE and the warning signs to look out for, as well as signposting people to help and support.”

Anyone who is concerned about the safety of a young person should call West Midlands Police on 101, speak in confidence to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or in an emergency call 999.