For CSE day 2019, we are proud to share this booklet, compiled and produced by parents affected by CSE. The project came about when one particular parent decided to collate the voices of other parents, after they heard parallels in what was being said. Here, the parent talks about their motivation for creating the publication, and what changes they wish to see.
Why I compiled this collection of parent voices
I produced this publication because I wanted to highlight how damaging the responses are to CSE victims and their families and show that these responses are still continuing. I also felt that it was important to express our emotions to show that we are parents, just like any other.
I hope to chip away at the divide that exists in society and authorities of the ‘them and us’ attitude, with unwarranted attempts to blame parents and victims. We are not a contributing factor for why our children have been targeted or abused by a perpetrator outside of our homes.
CSE only needs a child, an access point and a lack of adult or authority to stop it. That’s why perpetrators encourage secrecy. CSE is happening to children and parents everywhere, no matter what your status, culture or background is. If people start to understand that they will see that we too are victims: ones that have had our children stolen from under our noses.
Blaming those that aren’t at fault loses time and focus on stopping the perpetrators.
These are the changes we need to see…
I would like the publication to change attitudes so that parents get the help they need at the time they need it. When a parent seeks to find help from those in positions set up to safeguard, enforce law or use deterrent action, I want them to get that help.
Such a response should be to action plan with the family and help them achieve immediate safety and the best possible support for them and their child. The perpetrator should be recognised as at fault and existing outside of the family home.
This, for me, was the area of trauma that I experienced compounding damage in, and I hear other parents say this too. Getting anyone to act often takes months and then if they ever do it’s a chaotic and destructive shambles that feeds the child into the hands of the perpetrator. This depletes any parent of any strength left, which should be reserved for keeping their child safe.
The real change for children and families would be to have a response system in place that enhances the family unit, draws on the strengths of the family bonds and strengthens each family member in their safeguarding role. Not just parents, but siblings and grandparents too, to achieve the interruption methods needed in a co-ordinated, team-like and emotionally supportive way that will help to keep the child safe until further action can be taken to stop the perpetrators.
I would also like to see an end of professionals attacking or creating unevidenced reports about parents, with a full disciplinary procedure for doing so and that sort of behaviour being recognised as abusive.
A final thought
The shock of the response that I received spun me further beyond the unknown territory of CSE and all its complexities. I helplessly witnessed neglect of duty, bigotry, child hatred, personal slander, falsified reports and authority lock downs as well as a total lack of humane treatment of victims, parents or families.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to produce this but also to survive CSE that was compounded by system abuse.
Thank you to every parent for their contribution and Pace for their excellence, support and encouragement.
You can read the parents’ publication here: https://paceuk.info/wp-content/uploads/Parent-Publication-2019.pdf