“More than one in three of the children sexually abused by an adult kept their horrific secret to themselves.”*
“ Four out of five children who experienced sexual contact from someone they knew were too terrified to tell.”*
These are shocking statistics – Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Criminal Exploitation (CCE) are real threats for young people today and education is much needed around these serious issues . National Child Exploitation Awareness Days help to raise awareness of CSE but often the only way to fully appreciate the victim’s experience is to hear it first-hand.
Keys Group recently held a one-day virtual conference for colleagues within the Group.
Titled, “Exploitation; listen, understand, recognise, protect, prevent”, it included speakers with lived experience of being both criminally or sexually exploited who are using their experiences to help young people.
Young people are groomed and sexually exploited in many different forms. This could be online, through street gangs, and by those in positions of authority. The common theme in all cases is the control exerted on the young person by the perpetrator.
The event instigated by Keys National Specialist Advisor for Exploitation, Katherine Proudman, considered how we, as professionals, can ensure that by listening to children and young people, we are better able to understand what exploitation is and recognise the signs – so that we can protect our young people from exploitation and prevent it from happening.
Other speakers included Victoria Wilde from the National Crime Agency, who was involved in the Rotherham CSE investigation, Operation Stovewood.
Our intention is to roll out this educational event to external professionals working with vulnerable children and young people.
*Source: NWG website