CHILD sexual exploitation is happening everywhere and should be a concern for everyone, according to the regional boss of a children’s charity.
Duncan Stanway, Barbardo’s South West assistant director, says tackling child sexual exploitation is a top priority for organisations working with young people in Plymouth.
Mr Stanway was speaking during a week of sexual exploitation awareness, supported by Plymouth City Council.
He said: “Child sexual exploitation is happening in towns and cities all across the UK and Barnardo’s has been leading the fight against this awful crime for many years now.
“Locally, we fund Plymouth Barnardo’s Against Sexual Exploitation (BASE), which has been helping children to rebuild their shattered lives.
“We are delighted to be working with Plymouth City Council to raise awareness of this important issue and hope it will help to highlight the warning signs to look out for, the importance of early intervention and how we can all work together to protect some of society’s most vulnerable young people.”
Councillor Sue McDonald, PCC cabinet member for children and young people, said: “I believe there is a very real need for greater public awareness to prevent child exploitation, and welcome this week as part of our continuous programme to prevent the sexual abuse of children.
“We are making sure that tackling child sexual exploitation is a priority for Plymouth City Council and everyone working for children and families in the city.”
The week of action involved workshops specialising in working with male victims; advice on reducing the risks for young people early in life; and stopping child trafficking and slavery.