Real Voices Child sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester An independent report by Ann Coffey, MP. October 2014

Novembro 14, 2014 às 12:00 pm | Publicado em Relatório | Deixe um comentário
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I have prioritised listening to children and young people in this inquiry. I want to let their unaltered, authentic voices shine out.

Young people themselves hold the information about what is happening to them. All we need to do is listen.

Official report after official report has talked about the importance of ‘putting the voice of the child centre stage’.

Over the past few months, I have met some amazing young people, in schools, youth centres and their homes. I have met young victims of rape and sexual abuse and those at risk of sexual exploitation; I have met vulnerable young mums, peer mentors, young people who are leaving care, boys groups, and a girl in a secure unit.

I am not going to use their words as an ‘add on’ to this report. I want to let them speak direct to you in the first chapter.

They reveal better than any dry statistics the scale of the problem we, and they, are up against.

The young people talked about the pressures they feel under, with the increased sexualisation of children and lack of respect for girls. Shockingly, they also talked about being approached regularly by older men in the street.

They spoke out about their fear of speaking to ‘suits’ and ‘uniforms’ in the agencies that are supposed to protect them, but which they feel look down on them. They mentioned the ‘buzz” and support they get from speaking to other young people who are in the same boat as them.

They highlighted the tremendous value and help of peer mentors – young people who understand the world the victims live in and support them to move on.

They also talked of child sexual exploitation being a new ‘social norm’ in some communities.

At a time when £1.3 billion has been cut from public services in Greater Manchester, the statutory agencies

– such as the police, children’s services, health and schools

– need to find different and more effective ways of working.

In all my discussions it has been clear how much support and information young people can offer

each other and how let down and alienated they often feel by agencies that are supposed to protect them.

They gave me the idea that young people themselves must be part of the solution if we are to be successful in preventing child grooming becoming more prevalent.

We need to support them to build a network led by young people to fight back against child sexual exploitation across the whole of Greater Manchester. My recommendations to do that are outlined in the Executive Summary.

I hope that the brave young people who spoke to me will feel, if they read this report, that their voices were heard.

First, let’s put children and young people up front and hear direct from them about how they see their lives.

Ann Coffey MP

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