Child Sexual Exploitation Exposed
Why it is important for us to take action on child sexual exploitation
Child Sexual Exploitation is one of the most pressing issues facing young people today. In November 2012, the Children’s Commissioner published an interim report estimating that 16,500 young people were at risk of sexual exploitation by groups or gangs. This is a huge underestimate. Thousands of children across the UK are being sexually abused by not only gangs, but by family members, friends and professionals. Too often these crimes go unreported.
As Child Sexual Exploitation grows, so does the trafficking of young people into the sex trade. Today, there are many young people who are being moved around our cities to be used in the Sex Trade. We must change perceptions of these young people who are too often seen by the public, social services and the police as young prostitutes. These are children who have been groomed for sex and are in need of help.
Throughout the UK, there is no proactive approach to Child Sexual Exploitation. Public service’s response to Child Sexual Exploitation has been fragmented. Urgent action is needed to stop young people falling into the traps of these sexual predators. Growing up is about learning about risks. However, many front line practitioners do not have the knowledge or the education resources to teach children about the dangers of Child Sexual Exploitation. This cannot continue. . Child Sexual Exploitation is a child protection concern of the highest order that must be addressed.
Today 64 children will be sexually abused. One in 4 will be under 11. They will not report the abuse. Many will not understand the abuse. We must take the lead educating our young people and end Child Sexual Exploitation.