Exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation

Headlines
  • CSE is defined as exploitive situations and relationships, where a young person receives something as a result of them performing, and/or others performing on them, sexual activities.
  • CSE can affect any child; the majority of victims are girls, but boys are also sexually exploited.
  • Research suggests that between 5 to 16% of children under 16 years old may be victims of sexual abuse
  • In Wakefield there is a Multi-Agency Action on Child Sexual Exploitation Panel (MAACSE) to consider all suspected or known cases of CSE and to hold strategic discussions about suspected perpetrators and ‘hot spots’ in the district.
  • In 2014-2015 there were 23 referrals to the MAACSE with the majority (64%) of these being girls between the ages of 11-15 years.
The Population

CSE is a term which covers a broad range of sexual violence and abuse, including emotional and physical abuse; it falls within the overall category of child sexual abuse [1]. CSE is defined as exploitive situations and relationships, where a young person receives something (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or others performing on them, sexual activities [2].

The impact of CSE can be devastating; with victims experiencing long term detrimental physical, psychological and emotional issues, such as mental health problems, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, terminations, and misuse of drugs and alcohol.

CSE can affect any child. The majority of victims are girls, but boys are also sexually exploited. Evidence indicates that there are factors that can increase a child’s vulnerability to being sexually exploited.

The Burden

Sexual violence or abuse against children represents a major public health and social welfare problem. However, it is difficult to obtain a reliable estimate of the prevalence of child sexual abuse or CSE. Research suggests that between 5 to 16% of children under 16 years old may be victims of sexual abuse [4]. Reliable estimates of CSE are also difficult to find; CSE is hidden and rarely recognised or identified [5].

An inquiry into CSE found that where gender was disclosed, 72% of victims were girls and 9% were boys. The average age of victims of CSE was 15 years old, but there is a growing cohort of 1- to 14 year old victims.

In Wakefield there is a Multi-Agency Action on Child Sexual Exploitation Panel (MAACSE) to consider all suspected or known cases of CSE and to hold strategic discussions about suspected perpetrators and ‘hot spots’ in the district. In 2014-2015 there were 23 referrals to the MAACSE with the majority (64%) of these being girls between the ages of 11-15 years.

The Inequality

CSE can affect any child. The majority of victims are girls, but boys are also sexually exploited. Evidence indicates that there are several factors that can increase a child’s vulnerability to being sexually exploited, these include; living in a chaotic or dysfunctional family, a history of abuse, experiencing a recent bereavement and attending a school with young people who are sexually exploited [3]. However, children who are from loving and secure homes can be abused, as well as children with pre-existing vulnerabilities.

Service Provision

Wakefield recognises the abuse of children and young people through sexual exploitation is as serious as any other form of abuse and must be subject to the same rigour of professional intervention. However child sexual exploitation does present particular challenges to professionals and partnerships in terms of identifying that it is taking place, protecting the victims, prosecuting or disrupting the perpetrators and also working with partners to reduce vulnerability and promote resilience, so that we are able to reduce the chances of exploitation taking place at all.

Wakefield’s Local Safeguarding Children’s Board has a CSE Strategic Group with representation at senior level from all key partner agencies to consider issues relating to CSE in the district. The Group has refreshed its CSE strategy for 2015 with a greater focus on prevention and is influenced by local, regional and national learning. The strategy is accompanied by an ambitious action plan, which together with their Virtual College on-line CSE training course available to staff and partner agencies, endeavours to safeguard vulnerable children and raise awareness in this area.

Wakefield has a Multi-Agency Action on Child Sexual Exploitation Panel (MAACSE) to consider all suspected or known cases of CSE and to hold strategic discussions about suspected perpetrators and ‘hot spots’ in the district. The MAACSE is supported by a police analyst who collects and analyses pieces of intelligence to support the identification of perpetrators or locations. The analysts in the different divisions across West Yorkshire also meet to ensure that cross-boundary intelligence is shared.

Working in partnership with MAACSE is the dedicated Police CSE Team who is co-located with Wakefield’s MASH and Joint Investigation Team. Within the Police CSE Team and as a result of partnership working between the LSCB and Barnardo’s is a specialist CSE Development Worker who works alongside professionals to implement direct support for victims of CSE.

With the full support and involvement of the Police CSE Team and the MAACSE Panel the Council implemented the CSE Disruption and Enforcement Group which brought together all areas of the Council with enforcement powers that could potentially be used to disrupt suspected CSE. This includes Licensing, Enforcement, Environmental Health and Trading Standards. This Group is assembled when partners of the MAACSE Panel have identified premises that may be being used for the purpose of CSE and who with the police will consider what powers of inspection/enforcement can be used to disrupt the activity.

In Wakefield there has been significant work undertaken through the WDSCH with the development of the Multi-Agency Action on CSE Panel (MAACSE) launched in 2013 and an accompanied action plan. This action plan has been refreshed and the MAACSE has been reviewed. There is a well-established process for identifying and managing children at risk of CSE with a joint police and children’s service team dedicated to this area of work.   Data provided for the year 2014-2015 outlines there was 23 referrals to the MAACSE with the majority (64%) of these being girls between the ages of 11-15 years. There is work underway with B&Bs, nightclubs and public house through the Police and the local authority are working on Enforcement and Licensing departments to ensure cross-departmental approach to this area of work.

Community Assets
Resources and Evidence

 

[1] Health Working Group Report (2014). Health Working Group Report on Child Sexual Exploitation: Improving the outcomes for children by promoting effective engagement of health services and staff.

[2] Department for Education (2012) Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation: National Action Plan Progress Report, Department for Education, London.

[3] Berelowitz et al (2012). “I thought I was the only one. The only one in the world”. The Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups.

[4] Radford et al (2011). Child abuse and neglect in the UK today. NSPCC

[5] Health Working Group Report (2014). Health Working Group Report on Child Sexual Exploitation: Improving the outcomes for children by promoting effective engagement of health services and staff.

Early Forced Marriage

Local information is not available at this time.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-women-and-girls-in-developing-countries/2010-to-2015-government-policy-women-and-girls-in-developing-countries#appendix-2-helping-to-end-early-and-forced-marriage

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/298253/Strategic_Vision_for_Girls_and_Women_Narrative_-_November_2013-4.pdf

 

Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation (sometimes referred to as female circumcision) refers to procedures that intentionally alter or FGM is illegal in the UK. It is also illegal to arrange for a child to be taken abroad for FGM. If caught, offenders face a large fine and a prison sentence of up to 14 years cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is illegal in the UK.

It has been estimated that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK each year, and that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM. However, the true extent is unknown, due to the “hidden” nature of the crime.

Within Wakefield, the FGM agenda, along with Domestic Abuse and Honour Crime is being managed through the Community Safety Partnership (CSP). There needs to be close working between the two statutory bodies to ensure that the needs of children and young people are considered appropriately from a safeguarding and welfare perspective

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