26 February 2015
Though the police, social workers and dedicated organisations have always been aware that child sexual exploitation goes on, it was only after the recent high profile cases in Rotherham that the media really started paying attention.
As a result of this increased awareness, more and more groups, organisations and policies have been created to help the those effected by child sexual exploitation and raise awareness about the risks and warning signs.
Following several high profile cases of child sexual exploitation, including the case in Rotherham, a lot of politicians, policy makers and dedicated organisations got together to create new guidelines for handling cases of child sexual exploitation.
A lot of these new recommendations looked at how social services, police and other organisations could spot the early warning signs of exploitation and how victims could be identified and helped to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
They also looked at the wide range of cases that can fall under the term ‘child sexual exploitation’ and how councils and groups could educate communities and organisations about what the term means and how different types of abuse could actually be exploitation.
Why is it taking so long to filter down?
Though the experts at the top understand that there are a huge variety of situations that could be described as sexual exploitation, the people working on the ground, in close contact with communities, aren’t always as well informed.
In many cases, this is because it takes time to change people’s attitudes, it can also be a case of poor training, limited resources and a lack of funding stopping councils, the police and social services from fully adopting new recommendations.
What does it mean for young people?
As a result of slow changes to attitudes and policies surrounding child sexual exploitation, some cases can go unidentified. In fact, only around half of local child safeguarding boards said the agencies in their area had identified any victims at all, leaving hundreds or possibly even thousands of young people suffering alone.
Though changes are taking time to take an effect, they are being made and more and more cases are being identified with those affected given the help they need.
As a lot of these changes will take time to filter down to communities and the people they effect, it’s as important as ever to get in tough with the Rose Project on 0808 800 1037 for help if you or any of your friends are at risk.