A report which says parents are still not being included in the safeguarding of children at risk of being sexually exploited will be officially launched at a Westminster reception today.
The report, compiled by the Parent Action Group (PAG) within Pace, found that whilst successful prosecutions of CSE perpetrators have rapidly increased, parents’ concerns about CSE are not taken seriously enough. Nearly half of parents surveyed said they had been directly threatened or had property damaged by perpetrators and two thirds had found or rescued their missing child before the authorities did.
Parents were often treated with suspicion; more than half of parents said professionals had prevented them or their child from having contact with one another and only 35% had been included in professional meetings about their child.
Gill Gibbons, CEO of Pace, said: “To a child who is sexually exploited their family, their brothers and sisters, their parents, their extended family, their community will matter to them. Pace believes this survey shows practitioners need to ensure these families matter to them as well, as an empowered family is key to the safeguarding of the child. Parents are the key to early prevention of CSE and their intrinsic role in fighting this appalling crime continues through protecting their affected child and long-term support.”
Fabian Hamilton MP is hosting the launch event. Key individuals working to tackle CSE will be attending including MPs, PCCS, police, social work, academic and charity representatives.
Background to the report
In 2005, Pace published research entitled Parents, children and pimps – families speak out. A powerful and hard-hitting report, ahead of its time, it highlighted the horrific impact of child sexual exploitation (CSE) not only on the young victims but their families as well.
Despite over a decade of change and progress, the crucial role parents play in safeguarding a child at risk of sexual abuse and violence outside the home continues to be ignored.
In response to their concerns and experiences, the Parent Action Group (PAG) within Pace undertook a survey of 31 affected families across England in mid-2015. The resulting report, ‘Parents Speak Out’ was written by affected parents. Download a copy here.