The abuse lawyers at Slater and Gordon proudly support National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, which aims to highlight the issue and encourage people to speak out against child abuse.
National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day takes place on Saturday 18 March, promoting a zero tolerance approach to these abhorrent crimes that have a lasting effect on many young lives.
Ahead of the day, the Metropolitan Police has revealed that crimes connected with child sexual exploitation (CSE) across the capital rose by nearly 50 per cent between 2014 and 2016.
Though some cases of child sex abuse and exploitation are eventually reported in the media, the frightening reality is that many go unseen, if reported to authorities at all. We see on a daily basis the immense courage it takes to step forward and speak about experiences of abuse. Supporting National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day is a way for us all to stand in solidarity with survivors of abuse and let them know that support is at hand, and that predators can be brought to justice.
Between 2014 and 2016 there was a 49 per cent increase in crimes connected with child sexual exploitation across London, from 618 in 2014 to 922 in 2016. In addition, there was a 42 per cent increase in the number of children who police believe are at risk of CSE, from 1,116 in 2014 to 1,582 in 2016.
Supporting National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day is a way for us all to stand in solidarity with survivors of abuse and let them know that support is at hand, and that predators can be brought to justice.
Online CSE, where young people are groomed and abused online, increased by 135 per cent between 2015 and 2016.
I recently blogged on a new law, which, for two years, police forces have been unable to use in order to bring predators guilty of online grooming to justice.
For more information, please see: Police Still Unable to Use New Law to Tackle Child Grooming
Harrogate Council is joining forces on a campaign with Parents Against Child Exploitation (PACE), a national charity that works with parents and carers of sexually exploited children. The campaign encourages people ‘to say something if you see something’, helping people to spot the signs of inappropriate relationships between older and younger people.
In support of National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, the public are being asked to write on their hands and post online with the hashtag #helpinghands to draw attention to the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation.
Kim Harrison is a principal lawyer specialising in child abuse claims at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.
Slater and Gordon’s expert team of abuse lawyers are currently representing over 800 survivors of abuse and offer a free consultation for anyone affected by child abuse.
We offer a free and completely confidential consultation to anyone affected by sexual abuse. Call us anytime 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.