Sexual exploitation

Young people and their parents can find out more about the dangers of sexual exploitation by viewing an online video clip.

safe & sound, Dudley’s community safety partnership, and Dudley Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB), initially launched the video last year to raise awareness of the risks that could be faced by young people.

Following last month’s sexual exploitation prosecutions in Derby and the recent ‘sexting’ warnings in relation to mobile phones and social media, the community safety partnership and safeguarding board have re-launched the clip.

Sexual exploitation often starts with what appears to be a normal friendship or relationship.  Phone numbers and personal information may be exchanged and the young person will initially be treated well and made to feel special. 

However, this may quickly turn into an exploitive situation.  Control by text message, force or threat begins before girls are bombarded with texts, introduced to other men, made to drink and take drugs and forced to do things they don’t want to.

By this point, evidence shows the young person will find it difficult to escape the situation and often this sequence of events leaves them feeling scared, trapped and alone. 

The video clip which can be viewed at http://www.dudleysafeandsoundcampaign.org/sexualexploitation/ highlights what exploitation is and where young people can go for help and support.

The website, through a series of questions, can also help young people identify if they are at risk of exploitation.

Councillor Adrian Turner, cabinet member responsible for community safety, said:

“This is a serious issue and following the recently well publicised case in Derby, it’s an appropriate time to re-launch this video clip to make sure young people are aware of the dangers.  I would urge parents and teachers across the borough to encourage their children and young people they work with to log on and view the clip.”

Acting detective chief inspector Jon Thursfield from Dudley’s public protection unit, said;

“Partnership work with local authorities is imperative to offering advice and reassurance to young people within our communities.

“The increased use of social media such as facebook, twitter and YouTube can often lead to some young people falling victim to sexual exploitation at the click of a button.

“The video clip is a good way of highlighting what sexual exploitation could look like in an everyday scenario.”

ENDS

 

Notes to editor

Sexual exploitation means

The sexual use or abuse of one person for the reward or gratification of another

About safe & sound

safe & sound formed in 1998 and is made up of public sector and voluntary organisations covering Dudley borough.  By actively working together it aims

to reduce crime and disorder, as well as improve the availability, capacity and effectiveness of treatment for drug and alcohol misuse.

Partners include Aquarius, Dudley Council, Dudley Council for Voluntary Services, West Midlands Police Authority, Government Office West Midlands, National Offender Management Service, Dudley Primary Care Trust and Dudley Group of Hospitals, West Midlands Fire Service, West Midlands Police and Cranstoun and CRI who provide drug treatment services

About Dudley Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB)

DSCB, formed in 2006, is the statutory partnership for ensuring that key agencies work together to safeguard and promote the welfare and safety of children in the borough.  One of the board’s focuses is public education and communications, key aims for this are:

  • Raising public awareness of potential risks to children’s safety and what to do if they are worried about a child being abused
  • Improve children and young people’s understanding of risks to their own safety and how they can safeguard themselves

For more information contact:        

Louise Kavanagh,  Marketing and communications 01384 816050

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