child sexual exploitation
Up to 1,000 children are alleged to have fallen victim to abuse since the 1980s.
Some have called the internet the “greatest social experiment in history” and they are not wrong
Barnardo's is hugely proud of its 20-year history in placing the serious crime of child sexual exploitation, (CSE), firmly
Having to tell your story over and over again means having to relive the trauma, and repeated questioning can mean that children feel like they are to blame for their own abuse. This can be hugely distressing for a child or young person who has already been through so much and can lead to them questioning whether anyone believes them.
When a move away from their home area is necessary children should get the support they need to thrive and stay safe. They should be able to stay in touch with family and friends when appropriate, and they should receive a return home interview.
In my former roles as Head of Counter Terrorism in Belfast and Deputy Director General of the UK National Crime Squad I have authorised the use of many informants, recognise their worth and understand the benefits that they can bring... I have found myself being asked many times since the news of Operation Sanctuary broke, whether I would have authorised the informant known as XY. My answer is easy: no.
Young people are not equipped to deal with pornography. It can have a deeply damaging effect on their behaviour and their understanding of consent and healthy relationships. It can distort their views on body image. It can be downright dangerous when it comes to learning about sexual health.
When we see women with addictions, in prison or having their children removed by social services, we can be quick to judge with little thought as to the traumatic experiences that underpin so many of these women's lives.
We now know that Rochdale was not an isolated case. Child sexual exploitation has been uncovered in towns, cities and counties all over the country and it affects both girls and boys from all backgrounds. It is committed by abusers from all walks of life, ethnicities, cultures and classes and it robs children of their childhoods and tears families apart.
Bethany's story is a stark reminder that children and young people all over the country need the support Barnardo's offers. It's brave programming by Coronation Street's creators and could protect children from abuse and exploitation.